More about how to avoid traffic tickets

You wrote earlier that vehicles must actually leave the block after two hours to avoid tickets in two-hour free parking zones. I would be curious to see a followup on how parking people enforce that – it would seem to require either a prodigious memory on the part of parking officers or careful record keeping in the field to know which cars have moved at least a block and have not returned to the same block throughout the remainder of the day. Is this seriously enforced or is more or less on the honor system? — Sean

Kim Nadeau, Santa Rosa’s parking programs coordinator, explains: “The parking time limits are enforced by chalking the vehicles.  The vehicles are either physically chalked on a tire by the enforcement officer, or they are virtually chalked by the ‘auto-chalk’ vehicle, which takes a picture of the parked vehicles in a block.  The enforcement officer then returns to the same block after the time limit has expired and checks for chalked vehicles.  The ‘auto-chalk’ vehicle compares the photos and license plates that were read in the first pass, to those parked on the same block in the second pass and notifies the officer if a vehicle is still there and has exceeded the post time limit.”

River Road speed limits

I have noticed for a long time what looks like a fake 55 sign on the right hand side of the road just as you leave Rio Nido going towards Santa Rosa. I’m not sure what the posted limit really is. This is coming off of a 25 zone around a corner. Thank You, Mark Crow

It’s not a fake, says Tom O’Kane, deputy director of the Sonoma County Department of Transportation and Public Works. “River Road is posted at 25mph as it passes through the Rio Nido area. It is 55mph beyond as indicated on the signs.”

Bottoming out in Sonoma

We’ve called the county to request repair on our street (Acacia Ave in Sonoma), and they told us they’d submit the request.  We bottom out on the road to our home in our Prius, and ever since our neighbors recently did work on their driveway that required a big truck, our road is even more seriously beveled.  Did our request really get submitted?  How do we know for sure?  What’s the usual timeline to get anything to happen?  We’ve lived there just 1.5 years and have always bottomed out.  For all intents and purposes, it’s a 1 lane road so we usually drive on half of it. CalTrans has patched some nearby potholes, and I’m sure I’m not the first to report they need patching again.  It’s a shame they use cheap materials and end up fixing things many times instead of just better quality goods requiring attention once in a greater while. — Jill Nepper, Sonoma

Tom O’Kane has the answer for this one, too.

The original work order was filed Jan. 2, 2013, but in any event, I will have a work order generated to inspect the road to determine what is really needed at this time. From the description, this may be a much more significant condition than merely pot hole patching. Unfortunately, we are not funded to do comprehensive reconstruction or rehabilitation on local streets. I cannot promise any schedule for permanent repairs.

“Caltrans does not do pot hole repair work on local streets and roads. It is a County responsibility, so if some repairs were made on Acacia Ave., it was done by County personnel. With regards to the type of material that is used, it is a Caltrans standard asphalt. At times when the weather is very damp, we cannot get asphalt so a temporary ‘cold patch’ is placed in the pot holes. The problem many times is that the road surface and base below the pavement is in such poor condition neither product bonds very well. Most of the local roads need total rehabilitation, which is a very expensive undertaking.

“The easiest and quickest way for the public to report road conditions and repairs is to phone the maintenance office at 565-5100 or go to the County’s website, click on Transportation & Public Works, and find the icon of an envelope. Click on it and send us a message. All work orders are assigned numbers in order to track the progress.”