A Press Democrat Blog

Road Warrior

Trying to make sense out of getting around

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 has grown tremendously since it debuted April 22, 2010, with more than 1,000 columns, a total of 3 million page views and more than 7,400 published comments from readers. I… Read More »

Mailbag: Petaluma roundabout, illegal U-turn

Here’s a question from a Road Warrior reader: For the last 3 weeks I’ve watched the police presence at the roundabout near 101 on Petaluma Blvd S change from enforcement to encroachment.  There’s been an officer stationed at the roundabout 4 of 5 mornings every single week, often with TWO officers in the region.  I feel like the city is trying to harvest ticket revenue from the area. I’ve been commuting this area for months and don’t understand the issue.  If… Read More »

Mailbag: Should you follow driver in minor hit-run?

Here’s a question from a Road Warrior reader: I pulled into the Mendocino Ave Safeway parking lot to make a quick stop.  As I drove down an aisle, a car ahead started pulling out of a spot so I stopped to let him get out.  Looking left I see that a pickup directly opposite me was starting to back out.   While he was easing out very slowly he didn’t seem to be aware that I was right behind him so… Read More »

More drivers trying to beat the red light

I’ve heard people joke that a green light means go, a yellow light means go faster and a red light means stop. But I don’t think it’s a joke any longer: More people seem to be trying to beat red lights and they’re stepping on the gas when the light turns yellow. Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Rich Celli says he hasn’t seen that as a general trend, although he does at times have officers stake out specific intersections where it’s… Read More »

Mailbag: Left turn lanes for turning or merging, not passing; green stuff on 101

We’ve had some questions from readers regarding center turn lanes on city streets. For example: I thought the double turn lane was to be used as little as possible.  I live in Northwest Santa Rosa and usually use Piner Road to get to 101.  I often see drivers traveling quite far in the center turn lane, but occasionally it seems that the driver thinks the lane is an additional travel lane until they reach an intersection, where they merge into… Read More »

SRPD steps up red-light enforcement on Thursday

Santa Rosa police today plan to be out looking for red-light runners. Officers will stake out problem intersections, weather permitting, as part of the special operation. As an example, Sgt. Rich Celli cited Santa Rosa Avenue at Baker Avenue. As any driver who goes through that intersection knows, it’s common for drivers to push the yellow lights and even flat-out run the reds. The operation is part of a year-long, extra traffic enforcement program by Santa Rosa police that’s funded… Read More »

Mailbag: Reader gets a lecture on yielding but was right

Here’s a question from a Road Warrior reader: In December, I was driving east on Maple and was making a right hand turn on to South E Street in Santa Rosa.  The light for me was red, and there were two cars entering the intersection heading north.  I stopped before the crosswalk … I don’t know if you are aware that Maple has a separate right lane that turns into an extra lane that merges into South E Street.  I… Read More »

SRPD looking for right-of-way violators

Be on your toes Wednesday when you’re driving through major intersections Wednesday in Santa Rosa. A police officer may be watching. It’s all part of a year-long, extra traffic enforcement program by Santa Rosa police that’s funded through the state Office of Traffic Safety. On Wednesday, five officers will move about the city, specifically looking for right-of-way violations by drivers, such as running red lights and California stops, Police Sgt. Rich Celli said. But he warned that the officers also… Read More »

Mailbag: Confusion at Steele and Cleveland

Here’s a question from a Road Warrior reader: There seems to be a lot of confusion on the intersection of Cleveland Ave and Steele Lane. If you are turning left from (southbound) Cleveland to Steele, there are two turn lanes which go to three lanes into Steele. I see people from the inside lane constantly turn into the middle lane cutting off people in the left-hand lane trying to continue on Steele and not use the freeway. Half the internet… Read More »

DUI checkpoint Friday night

Santa Rosa police will be conducting a DUI/license checkpoint on Friday night. As is typical, police declined to say where the checkpoint will be, but it will go from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. “It is the Santa Rosa Police Department’s goal to continue providing public awareness on the dangers of drinking and driving and the laws concerning driving without a driver’s license,” Sgt. Rich Celi said in a statement. “Motorists approaching a checkpoint will observe traffic signs, information and… Read More »