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When do radar operations become fire hazards? Is it legal to walk along Highway 12? And a love letter to Caltrans. Keep reading.

Question: Today I was driving north on 101 just past the northbound airport road on ramp. Sitting behind the fence alongside the highway next to the sign is a hiding place for the CHP.  I saw one standing there today he was holding a radar gun and clocking the speed of passing autos. My gripe; the supposedly well trained highway patrolman parked his curser in the dry grass along side the road, oblivious to the fact that the catalic converter on his vehicle is a major fire hazard.

The owners manual for most autos states use caution when driving or parking in dry grass because the hot catalic converter can start a fire. This also includes the Highway patrol officers. get a clue guys. — Kathy Condon

Answer:   This actually is an issue we regularly brief officers on. Since your reader saw this recently, I will make sure it is revisited. — CHP Officer Jon Sloat

Question: I volunteer at the Sonoma Humane Society fairly regularly, and I take public transit.  Recently, I got out of a volunteer shift about an hour early for my bus.  I decided to see how far I could walk until the nearest bus stop, starting east on Hwy 12 from the Humane Society at a brisk walking pace.

After about 10 minutes a man stopped me in his truck.  He informed me that it was actually illegal for me to walk along this highway in this manner, that the CHP could potentially stop me.  If there is a bus traveling on a road, with bus stops spaced up and down said road, then wouldn’t it make sense that there could be pedestrians (legally?) walking up and down this road, to and from their bus stops?  I would really love a clarification on this issue, thank you. — Megan

Answer: No, it is not illegal for Megan to walk there. The “freeway” ends just west of Fulton Road, and pedestrians are allowed. There will always be a sign that says pedestrians are prohibited at the entrance to any freeway. With that in mind, Megan should make sure she is walking against traffic and using caution, as there is nothing separating her from vehicles going 50 mph. — CHP Officer Jon Sloat

And finally, a shout out from Jeffrey S. Boyd:

Sign on Hwy 101, near airport: SHARE THE ROAD. LOOK TWICE FOR MOTORCYCLISTS! Thank You, Caltrans!

 

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Comments

7 Comments

  1. SRdoosey

    Kathy hasn’t a clue, as the CATALYTIC converter has heat shielding on it; and also cools very rapidly as its substrate is made of ceramic.

    June 19th, 2013 9:11 am

  2. Dan

    SRdoosey… I had no clue either about the shielding. Please keep in mind not all of us know everything, all the time, about everything… and it appears nor did The Road Warrior, The CHP…

    June 19th, 2013 12:03 pm

  3. Road.Warrior

    It’s nice to have smart readers who can fill us in on news like this.

    June 19th, 2013 12:27 pm

  4. J. Longtooth

    “With that in mind, Megan should make sure she is walking against traffic and using caution, as there is nothing separating her from vehicles going 50 mph”. — CHP Officer Jon Sloat

    OK, that makes sense a certain sense.

    Yet the last DMV handbook I read made a point of contradicting my own misinformed belief (and a common bit of conventional wisdom) that a bicyclist should always travel on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic.

    My question to Officer Sloat: What logic differentiates that a pedestrian do just that (walk facing traffic), as opposed to a bicyclist doing the same?

    June 19th, 2013 2:28 pm

  5. jeff

    @Jlongtooth: That’s easy. Bicycles are vehicles, not pedestrians. Therefore, you need to travel in the same direction as traffic.

    “My question to Officer Sloat: What logic differentiates that a pedestrian do just that (walk facing traffic), as opposed to a bicyclist doing the same?”

    June 19th, 2013 6:19 pm

  6. Jack

    Longtooth, pedestrians should wlk opposite traffic to watch for oncoming danger (car veering off, ect).

    Anything on wheels should travel in the direction of road traffic as its better to get bumped/pushed/crashed into from behind (which keeps you on the same path of your current momentum away from the vehicle) rather than get hit head on and all of your momentum just pancakes you into someone’s windshield or over the roof.

    June 19th, 2013 11:04 pm

  7. J. Longtooth

    Right, makes sense. Bicycles are vehicles, flow of traffic, etc.

    But shouldn’t the “anything on wheels vs. the law of physics” rule also apply to pedestrians?

    It’s an idle question. Still, and though many years have passed since I was nimble enough to dodge my way out of the path of an oncoming car, when I was spry to have at least a chance to do so, the odds were bad.

    I guess it boils down to having tire tracks across your face and chest, or tracks across the back of your head and spine.

    June 20th, 2013 6:06 pm

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