EV chargers getting damaged by users, replacement pending

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I am noticing the EV chargers in downtown Santa Cruz are slowly disappearing. One by one, they are breaking and not being repaired. I drive an EV and one of the major incentives was free charging and free parking in downtown Santa Cruz. I can appreciate that Santa Cruz provides these incentives to own an EV as these 100 percent electric cars are efficient and more than help reduce air pollution and smog. Have EV owners been forsaken? Where has the love gone and why are the EV chargers being left for junk? Sincerely, Theryl McCoy, via email A: The retractable cable featured on the EV chargers were too short to reach the charging ports on some vehicles, said Cheryl Schmitt, transportation coordinator for the city of Santa Cruz. When drivers tugged to get the cables to reach, they "damaged the clutch mechanism for the cable retractor," she explained. "They are out of warranty and they are expensive to repair. So yes, we are experiencing technical difficulties and yes, we are working on a solution." Holiday travel safety tip As Labor Day, the last summer holiday, approaches, AAA reports 3.9 million Californians will travel 50 miles or more from home. Of them, 3.1 million plan to drive to their end of summer destination. If you among them, consider not driving in the "fast lane" on highways during the after dark and wee morning hours. A few years back, Street Smarts recorded this advice from a retired CHP officer-turned motorcycle and senior driving instructor. Particularly on holidays and weekends, drunk drivers mistakenly get onto the freeway heading in the wrong direction and proceed to drive in what they think is the "slow lane." In reality, they are traveling at freeway speeds head-on toward unsuspecting motorists. This scenario happened to my mom this past weekend. She lives in Los Banos and spends each Saturday afternoon and evening babysitting for me while I am at work. On her way home Saturday night, she had merged into the center lane on Highway 152 near San Luis Reservoir when traffic suddenly came to a screeching halt and drivers in the left most lane tried to squeeze into the right lanes as fast as possible. Soon, a vehicle with bright headlights beaming blew by in the wrong direction in the newly vacant lane. Please, don't drink and drive.
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