Transportation projects on hold due to rain

Dear Street Smarts, Q: Do you have any information as to why the city of Santa Cruz has not yet striped either Laurel Street or Western Drive? The paving on both was finished by mid-November and it has now been a number of weeks with no striping. This is hazardous for all street traffic, especially with darkness falling earlier and inclement weather. Thanks for any insights. Naazneen Barma, Santa Cruz A: Blame it on the rain, which is impacting transportation projects countywide. "It’s been a domino effect with other projects elsewhere, delaying the contractor that does that type of work," said Chris Schneiter, director of the city's public works department. "We’ve been assured we are next on the list. Let’s hope for some dry days next week!" Similarly, on Highway 152, Caltrans' 6-mile pavement overlay project that was supposed to begin at the end of last month from College/Holohan Road near Watsonville to near Mount Madonna Road at the Santa Cruz/Santa Clara County line has been delayed until next spring. Transportation agencies countywide encourage patience on long awaiting projects to come to fruition as they now turn their attention to storm damage mitigation. Turn on headlights bad weather While driving around in last week's storm, which featured driving rain, high winds, flooded streets and low visibility, there were drivers motoring in those conditions without their headlights on. In bad weather, turning on your headlights helps others on the road see you. Not donning the lights is against the law and is quite dangerous. The other people on the road have a difficult time seeing those vehicles that have been reduced to shadows amid the deluge that swallowed roads and sidewalks. The color of the vehicle has nothing to do with how visible it is when swirling water is coming both from the sky as well as being kicked up by the tires of all the other vehicles on the road. According to the DMV's website, drivers "must" turn on their headlights "from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise or if snow, rain, fog, or other hazardous weather condition requires the continuous use of windshield wipers, or when visibility is not sufficient to clearly see a person or a vehicle for a distance of 1,000 feet. No vehicle may be driven with only parking lights on. However, parking lights may be used as signals or when the headlamps are also lit." Read more about this and other road rules at www.dmv.ca.com.
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