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Freeform merge lanes: Illegal or just plain stupid?

When cross traffic is heavy, frustrated motorists sometimes take matters into their own hands, nosing their way into the flow any way they can. But is it legal? That's what Road Warrior reader Ralph wanted to know. Question: I see people turning right from Merced Avenue onto Highway 12, eastbound, [...]

By | May 22nd, 2013|9 Comments

Big changes at the Road Warrior

We're changing drivers at the Road Warrior blog. After nearly three years of writing the column -- and 29 years at The Press Democrat -- I'm retiring on Monday and Linda Castrone, editor of The Press Democrat's Towns section, will take over Tuesday. She'll do an excellent job. The column [...]

By | March 3rd, 2013|28 Comments

Crashes up, fatalities, tickets down in Sonoma County

Traffic crashes rose last year, but fatalities dropped as did tickets and DUI arrests by the Sonoma County CHP, according to the latest statistics. A total of 2,485 crashes were investigated by the local CHP, which covers Sonoma County except for part of the Sonoma Valley. That's up from 2,405 [...]

By | March 12th, 2012|5 Comments

Mailbag: CHP using radar on the onramp?

Here's a question from a reader: We have noticed several times that the CHP is using radar on the onramp from Hwy 12 westbound onto 101. We are confused. I was instructed that when getting on a freeway you are to quickly get up to speed to match the traffic [...]

By | March 10th, 2012|10 Comments

Tougher speed enforcement in construction zones

The local CHP will be stepping up its enforcement of the speed limit in the Highway 101 construction zones as part of a statewide effort to protect Caltrans and road construction crews. The action this week comes after four Caltrans workers were killed in traffic-related accidents in the past year, [...]

By | September 23rd, 2011|25 Comments

Pumpkin Patch Crawl is back

The Pumpkin Patch Crawl is getting an early start on Highway 101. Every year for the last 18 years or so, Jim Groverman of Petaluma has created a pumpkin patch in north Petaluma between Stony Point Road and 101. Families by the hundreds, if not thousands, flock to his patch [...]

By | September 21st, 2011|25 Comments

Publicizing DUI checkpoints or not

A Santa Rosa assemblyman is generating a lot of controversy over his bill that would set uniform rules for police statewide in operating DUI checkpoints and that would require police to publicize the specific location of a checkpoint at least two hours in advance. A story in Monday's Press Democrat [...]

By | September 20th, 2011|56 Comments

Watch out for Vineman congestion

If you're out and about Sunday, watch out for the 2,000-plus competitors running and bicycling in the 21st Avia Vineman Ironman 70.3 triathlon, which used to be called the Half Vineman. Some traffic delays are likely. The bike course starts in Guerneville, goes to Healdsburg via Westside Road and Geyserville [...]

By | July 15th, 2011|1 Comment

Mailbag: When do you need to tarp your load

If you have questions, we'll try to get the answers for you. Here's one from a reader: Q: What’s the law on tarping loads? If I take stuff to the dump, I know I’m suppose to tarp. But what if I’m not going to the dump? Does it matter what [...]

By | February 23rd, 2011|3 Comments