Here are questions from Road Warrior readers:

Occidental Road needs striping

The center line striping on Occidental Road between Fulton Road and Highway 116 is totally worn.  The reflective dots are missing or covered in oil.  Really scary driving are night and especially during the rain. Jerry

The answer comes from Tom O’Kane, deputy director of the Sonoma County Public Works and Transportation Department: “There are many miles of county roads that are in need of restriping. We lost our pavement marking truck in the firstwave of budget cuts in 2009 due in part because of the California air quality restrictions and lack of funding for a replacement. The Board (of Supervisors) just authorized the purchase of a new truck last fall. It is in the process of bidding now. I do not anticipate the delivery until late summer or early fall. As a consequence, we are preparing to bid some contract work for a number of roads, including Occidental in the segment that was mentioned by your reader. I do not have a date at this time when the work would be done but as soon as possible.”

Right of way on highway on/offrarmps

Who has the right of way on combined on/off ramps? I’m specifically thinking of Airport Blvd. on 101 North. People come barreling off the freeway as others are trying to build up to freeway speed. Legally, who should yield to the other when on and off ramp lanes are shared? Deanna

The answer comes from CHP Officer Jon Sloat, spokesman for the local office: There are two lanes there, one for the cloverleaf, and the straight one coming off/going on to the freeway. Because of that, neither vehicle has the right of way to the other lane. It is a matter of making a safe lane change into the lane you want to be in.

Speed limit signs

I am confused about speed limit signs.  Does the speed limit change when I can see the sign or when I reach the sign?  The other day in Sebastopol, a motorcycle officer was using his radar gun on people who were in a 35 mile zone, coming down a hill where the sign at the bottom says 25 miles per hour.  Are you supposed to have slowed to 25 by the time you get to the sign?  On the other hand, when the speed increases, can you begin speeding up before you get to the sign so that when you’ve arrived at the sign you’re traveling at the increased limit?  Just curious.  I always thought the speed change was at the sign, but others do not.   Michelle

The answer comes from Sebastopol Police Sgt. Greg Devore, who says the speed limit changes at the sign. So going from a 35 to a 25 means that by the sign you must be doing 25, so slow before you hit the sign. And if you’re going from a 25 to a 35, you can’t hit the gas until you pass the 35-mph sign.


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  1. paul

    this problem can be FIXED by turning the east/west signal to all west, then all east. This does not need a bid, it merely takes a technician to change it. Leaving it at-the-same-time and a competition to get through is dangerous and proof of incompetence by county management. We pay these people for this kind of protection????????????

    February 15th, 2013 4:12 pm

  2. ER

    In regards to painting Occidental Road, how about painting poor neglected Santa Rosa Avenue? It’s scary to drive it at night and forget about driving it at night in the rain! You can’t see the lane lines.

    February 15th, 2013 9:26 pm

  3. RWB Reader

    Paul, what the heck are you taking about?

    February 16th, 2013 11:37 am

  4. Bryan

    Great! Takes only 3 years to ‘find’ the money, and then only another year to buy a new truck – nothing like the hustling done down at Slonoma County! And thanks to our elected sups for making our road safety a priority. And don’t forget the state leaders for first regulating out paint trucks and then not funding better paint trucks so our roads are safer. I know I breathe easier knowing that our county roads are not marked for 4 years and are now less safe to drive…so we’ll just all stay home until they are safe again. Hate to see any lawsuits over this mess and failure to maintain the roadway safety..let alone more injuries or deaths!

    February 16th, 2013 4:53 pm

  5. Roadie

    Combined on/off ramps: It’s so simple if you think about the physics. The cars entering the freeway have to accelerate to freeway speed. The cars leaving the freeway have to slow to ramp speed. The only logical way for this to safely work is for the cars leaving the freeway, that have to slow down anyways, to yield to the cars that have to speed up. In other words, how stupid (and self-absorbed) is it to speed up coming off the freeway just to cut off a car that needs to reach freeway speed with your then even more shortened braking distance. It’s this “You’re not getting ahead of me!” mentality that’s overriding common sense. If you’re leaving the freeway, slow down and make way for the person entering it that has to speed up to safely merge, instead of speeding up just to cut them off and prevent them from getting to a safe merge speed. I hope this makes sense, it all seems so simple to me…

    February 17th, 2013 6:42 am

  6. Brian

    I agree with the comment about Santa Rosa Avenue! I remember driving north on SR Avenue one evening during a downpour and I wasn’t the only car on the road who was confused as you really can’t see the lines on the ground! We pay taxes to the city/county for basic services such having roads that are safe to travel on, as well as streetlights that actually light up the street (AHEM City of Santa Rosa!). What is it going to take, someone dying as a result of the roads being in the shape they are in before something is done? Be reactive better than proactive – that’s the way business shouldn’t be done.

    February 17th, 2013 11:38 pm

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