Here’s a question from a reader:

I have been concerned by the increasing number of blind spots being created by “sign spinners,” for the lack of another name. They are positioning themselves at busy street corners and rocking very large signs back and forth, blocking drivers’ views of oncoming traffic. I could not turn right at the intersection of College Ave. and Cleveland Ave. the other day because I could not tell if it was clear to do so. I imagine some people are pulling out when it isn’t safe. Are there any rules/laws about creating these unsafe conditions? Marcie

The answer comes from Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Mike Numainville, who says, “It is not illegal to stand on the corner with a moving sign as long as the sign holder does not step into the roadway or block the path of other pedestrians using the sidewalk. ”

Here’s another question:

Downtown Santa Rosa on Fourth Street. Much jaywalking between Santa Rosa Avenue and D Street. I have never seen a person ticked for jaywalking on any downtown street let alone this stretch. Not that I want them to be, but what is law enforcements take on this? Is issuing of citations for this offense strictly at the whim of the officer? Susan

In answer, Numainville said he didn’t have any stats on the number of jaywalking citation issued but noted the base fine for jaywalking is $119  and with court fees it is just less than $200.  “As far as upcoming enforcement operations, we are in the planning stages of a special operation for  pedestrians in crosswalks but we do not have any jaywalking specific operation planned at this time,” he said.

Another question:

When they resurfaced South Wright Avenue in Santa Rosa, the intersection at Sebastopol Road lost the right-turn lane and now has hash marks in its place. People still use it as a right-turn lane. Is this legal? Also, when traveling north on South Wright Avenue at Sebastopol Road, on the south side it is one lane and on the north side of Sebastopol Road it is two lanes. Is it legal to cross the intersection into either lane? Kathryn

And more answers from Numainville, who says, “This question was a little confusing because it did not state which direction the driver is traveling.  However, I believe the readers question has to do with the hash marks for the bike lane. In that case, a vehicle can still make a right turn as long as they do so with safely looking for cyclist.”

As for the second question, he says, “A driver can choose to go into either northbound lane after they enter the intersection. Unless there was a sign stating otherwise, which at this intersection there is not.”


If you have a question for the Road Warrior, please send it to jim.fremgen@pressdemocrat.com


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  1. Fred Mangels

    “…a vehicle can still make a right turn as long as they do so with safely looking for cyclist.”.

    Speaking of bike lanes and turning, something that was brought up in Eureka many years ago:

    When they first started putting up bike lanes here years ago, our police chief at the time made a public statement saying any cars found intruding on bike lanes would be ticketed.

    I took exception to that as I understood him to be reading the law wrong. My understanding of cars vs. bike lanes is that cars can, and should, enter a bike lane when making a turn that will cross that bike lane.

    The idea being that, as you approach your turn, you move to the right blocking the bike lane so a bicyclist would be prevented from driving in front of you as you made your turn and you hitting him.

    When you pull into the empty area of the bike lane, the bicyclist stays behind you until you make your turn. Make sense? Not sure what the vehicle code says about that now.

    January 19th, 2013 11:44 am

  2. Andrew

    Kudos to the LEO’s who enforce and ticket jaywalkers, but what needs to be done is to ticket the entitled, arrogant, and self righteous pedestrians who dart right out into crosswalks, and any other place along a street because it states that pedestrians have the right of way “all the time.”

    I come very close to hitting pedestrians, and at times I want to deliberately get close enough to some of them and honk my horn at them, because they need a rude awakening that they are NOT always in the right when they fail to look before crossing, are talking on cell phones or to their friends, and are just plain stupid morons who dare you to hit them.

    There seems to be a sad mentality out there amongst many pedestrians who do this, and there needs to be enforcement, if not just by stopping them by LEO’s at the times they are carelessly walking right into traffic and lecturing them of the dangers. But again it’s sad that they will continue with their entitled attitudes and not heed to advice of anybody but themselves, of which is poorly constructed because of their arrogance and stupidity.

    Beware you careless pedestrians, some day they vehicle you step in front of may not stop for you.

    January 19th, 2013 10:18 pm

  3. Bunga Gunga

    just the other day a crowd of jaywalkers darted across the road on 3rd, which was kind of annoying. what really ticked me off was the last guy who crossed, this (guy) stops in the middle of the road looks directly at me and then bends down to tie his shoe.

    January 24th, 2013 11:22 am

  4. Sam

    @Andrew: don’t drive angry.

    January 25th, 2013 12:51 pm

  5. jody hampton

    Remember Luke, the force or rather Natural Selection is not survival of the fittest which unless the fittest happens to be pregnant, always ends in extinction, rather Natural selection is survivial of the less stupid.

    January 29th, 2013 11:08 am

  6. sign spinners

    For most sign spinners know they should not be right on the corner of the side walk for their own safety and vehicle safety. Since it doesn’t take much for a car to lose control.

    September 25th, 2013 3:17 pm

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