A Press Democrat Blog

Road Warrior

Trying to make sense out of getting around

Why does a turkey cross the road?

We’ve got the perfect environment for wild turkeys in Sonoma County, with enough open grasslands and rolling oak woodlands to support thousands. So with all that available habitat, why do they wander into parks, backyards and even onto highways? At least two Road Warrior readers have encountered them on the asphalt. Wildlife officials describe wild turkeys as highly tolerant of humans, adding that they have moved into places they clearly don’t belong because their numbers have grown. Turkeys usually keep… Read More »

Mailbag: ‘Children’ in crosswalks, annoying blue headlights and emergency vehicles without sirens

How do you define “children” in school zones? Are those harsh blue headlights legal? When must emergency vehicles use their sirens? The answers to these reader questions follow. When are “children” present? I frequently drive Fulton Road past Piner High School. There is signage that says it’s a 25 mph zone when “Children Are Present.” My question is, since most upper class high school students are adult sized, how can you tell when children are present as opposed to ordinary… Read More »

Don’t kill them with kindness

Santa Rosa reader Tina Janulaw shared this recent incident, one that was inspired by kindness but almost ended badly. Did she do the wrong thing? “Last week  I was driving north on Yulupa Avenue past the shopping center where Whole Foods and Petco are located and I noticed a girl and her small dog on the other side of the road waiting to cross the four lanes of traffic,” she wrote. “I was in the middle northbound lane and noticed… Read More »

Mailbag: Occidental Road, right of way on on/offramps, understanding speed limit signs

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… Read More »

Big drop in tickets, crashes in Sonoma County, CHP stats show

The number of tickets written by CHP officers in Sonoma County dropped  by more than 20 percent and traffic crashes fell by nearly 15 percent last year compared to 2011, according to the latest statistics. The 27,259 tickets written by the local CHP, which covers Sonoma County except for part of the Sonoma Valley, was down from 2011′s 35, 385, 2010′s 37,003 and 2009′s 37,378. The local spokesman, CHP Officer Jon Sloat, said he and other CHP officials haven’t been… Read More »

Mailbag: Frustrating red light at Highway 12/Brush Creek; calling the CHP

Here’s a question from a Road Warrior reader: Can you look into the signal light issues that have been occurring Brush Creek Rd and Hwy 12 intersection ever since Caltrans did work there back in August. The sensors DO NOT WORK and cars waiting to turn left and head east onto Hwy 12 from Brush Creek Road are left sitting at the signal for sometimes close to 8 to 10 minutes waiting for a green light. Just this past weekend,… Read More »

Mailbag: Flooding on Highway 101, certifying radar use

Here’s a question from a Road Warrior reader: I have been driving Highway 101 from 37 to SF every day for several years (over 15). During this period, I had taken into account various areas of water flooding, such as the Corte Madera dip. The “dip” was the only major area that was concerning. Recently, there has been a major re-asphalting project for Highway 101, which works great in dry weather. However, during recent rains I have noticed that there… Read More »

Mailbag: Straddling white line on offramp; Penngrove turn dilemma

Here’s a question from a reader: Can you get a ticket for straddling a solid white line on the offramp from the freeway? Millie The answer comes from CHP Officer Jon Sloat, who says, “By the LETTER of the law, you technically could be cited for straddling the white line on the shoulder. However, the average officer would only cite if it were a safety issue.” Here’s another question:  My commute often takes me eastbound on Old Adobe near Penngrove,… Read More »

CHP cracking down on unsafe Thanksgiving drivers

Every available CHP officer will be on patrol for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, trying to ensure everyone travels safely. Billed as a “Maximum Enforcement Period,” the CHP’s stepped up traffic enforcement starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday. CHP officials said the enforcement particularly is important because during last year’s Thanksgiving weekend, 32 people were killed in collisions on state roads — 52 percent more than the year before — and many weren’t wearing a seatbelt.… Read More »

Mailbag: Can you use carpool lanes on onramps?

Here’s a question from a Road Warrior reader: When going northbound on Santa Rosa Avenue and entering the turn lane at Yolanda to get on to northbound 101 there are two turn lanes.  If you are in the left most turn lane, are you supposed to turn into the middle lane and the right lane supposed to turn into the far right lane? The left lane is marked for carpools but it is as if you are forced to turn… Read More »