Roundabout is neighborhood’s canvas, city says

Dear Street Smarts, Q: There is a roundabout at the intersection of King and Baldwin that is so ugly, it's sinful. Many cars have hit it. The concrete border has evidence of this. The plants are dead or dying. I don't think that it has a water supply. Please check it out. Jo Barbier, Santa Cruz A: "The traffic circle at the intersection of Baldwin and King was installed through a community process where funds were not available to do a more expensive design," said Janice Bisgaard, spokesperson for public works. At the time it went in, residents in the area agreed to maintain the landscaping. Another traffic circle in the area -- at Morrissey Boulevard and Fairmount Avenue -- has been upgraded and better maintained by it neighbors. As for the safety of the King/Baldwin roundabout, the city has inspected it and found no safety issues. Sounds like a great community beautification project. Perhaps if maintain, it will be more noticeable and respected by drivers, thus struck less. Q: Thanks for keeping the public informed regarding the three foot law. I am curious how many, if any, traffic tickets have been issued by Santa Cruz Police Department regarding violations of same. At the Sept. 16 press conference announcing the start of the law, the Scotts Valley Police chief said his force would be patrolling 'heavily trafficked areas' especially elementary schools. Is there any way you can share that info with your readers? Thanks for all you do! Grace Voss, Santa Cruz A: No stats are available yet, but Sgt. Scott Garner says his department is taking similar action as Scotts Valley. "We are diligently working the school zones during the morning and afternoon commute times in addition to the well-traveled bicycle paths of UCSC students/staff," he said. "We do believe in educating our community prior to taking enforcement actions so we appreciate the articles as well." Start Smart Oct. 16 Traffic collisions continue to be the leading cause of death for young people ages 15-20 years old. As a result, the CHP invites new drivers and their families to attend its free workshop, called Start Smart. This course discusses traffic law, the dynamics of traffic collisions, ways to avoid crashes and the many responsibilities drivers have. The presentation is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16 at the Aptos branch of the Santa Cruz Public Library, at 7695 Soquel Drive. For information and to reserve seats, call 831-662-0511.
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