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A Press Democrat Blog

Road Warrior

Trying to make sense out of getting around

4 ways to improve driving

Happy new year! Here’s a New Year’s resolution from the Road Warrior to help us all on the road: –Be smart with cellphones. People must go hands-free while using their cellphones while driving. Almost always the driver I encounter who’s having trouble maintaining speed or staying in his/her lane is driving with one hand while holding a cellphone in the other. Even going hands-free can be distracting to a driver, so you might consider waiting to make or take that… Read More »

Mailbag: Alerting DMV to problem elderly drivers; carpool lanes; Barnes Road

Here’s a question from a reader: Is there a place to anonymously alert someone about an elderly driver who should no longer be driving? The answer comes from DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez, who pointed us to the DMV website where there’s a form you can fill out and send in anonymously. CLICK HERE to get the form. She said once the DMV receives the form, a worker will call the elderly driver and, depending on information derived during the conversation,… Read More »

CHP boss sounds off on cellphone, texting, carpool violators

Drivers on their cellphones and drivers illegally using carpool lanes are among the two biggest gripes of Road Warrior readers. So with CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow dropping by the Petaluma police station last week to hand out traffic safety awards to the officers there, we asked him about CHP enforcement of those violations. On cellphones, he said it’s his top pet peeve — “it’s such a safety issue.” And the CHP is addressing the problem by trying to educate the… Read More »

Extended carpool lanes opening in Marin

Caltrans this week opened a new southbound carpool lane on Highway 101 in Novato and in a couple of weeks plans to open a northbound carpool lane there. Both are signs that the widening of  101 from northern Marin County to northern Petaluma is inching along, although closing the carpool gap will take years to finish. The new southbound lane runs from Novato Creek to Highway 37. The northbound lane is to open Aug. 9 from Highway 37 to Atherton… Read More »

Mailbag: Towing and illegally driving in carpool lane; cost of tickets

Here are some questions from Road Warrior readers: Question: I am not sure if these questions have come up yet but I saw two instances on 101 that have me confused.  I saw a 4-wheel-drive truck towing a beautiful big boat in the carpool lane and then later that afternoon, during rush hour, was another truck towing a 5th-wheel RV in the carpool lane.  I thought they were to be in the far right lane towing at 55 mph.  Ilene The answer… Read More »

Answers to your Caltrans questions

Here are answers to some of the questions readers posed last week for Caltrans: –When will the section of freeway in Cotati change from a 55-MPH zone to a regular 65 zone? Anthony Caltrans officials said once crews finish putting the final paving and striping on Highway 101 there, they’ll boost the speed limit to 65. –Why are you stuffing everybody into two lanes at 3pm creating a traffic slowdown when in Marin it’s 4:30 and things run pretty good?… Read More »

Big changes coming on Highway 101

The widening of Highway 101 is about to take some big leaps forward. –This week, weather permitting, Caltrans says, construction crews will begin the final paving of 101 from Rohnert Park Expressway to Petaluma Boulevard North, doing the work overnight to limit traffic delays. Northbound work is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., while southbound is 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., ending an hour earlier to get out of the way of commuters. At some point the paving will… Read More »