Q I was reading your article about dumb tickets, and the part about parking in the red zone being a major no-no struck me -- particularly because I've seen police parked in red zones in the East Bay when there was no apparent emergency (including while sitting down to eat at a restaurant!).
Are there any conditions when police aren't allowed to park in a manner that would be illegal for you and me? Or do they get free reign to park in red zones, without feeding meters, etc., without needing to justify it?
A Others are asking as well.
Q There used to be a coffee shop across from my office which was the safest place in the South Bay because there were always cops in there writing reports. They parked their units in the red zone right across the street. Of course, I was annoyed by the apparent attitude of "Suck it in, citizen, it's one of the perks."
It occurs to me that they need quick access to their vehicles. So are they exempt from no-parking regulations? If they are, it's OK, and I'll adjust my attitude.
A An attitude adjustment may be needed. Police get this question frequently, and they say marked cars are exempt from the signs and markings on the road if they are being used by police
So is this part of their duties? Police say that as far as drinking coffee and parking in the red zone, it could appear they are taking advantage of the rules of the road. But on the flip side, if no other parking is available, then they consider this reasonable to do so temporarily. Police want their officers to have access to their cars if an emergency occurs and they need to drive off quickly or retrieve equipment from their vehicles. Also, it prevents vandalism to their cars if cops can keep an eye on them.
Q Your paper recently ran a headline on a story by you indicating the pain was going away at the pump. I wanted to let you know that I filled my tank the other day and it cost $84.53, and I thought that was a little painful. I think your article was a tad if not totally misleading and you should have a front-page apology for saying that you have eased my pain. I do feel the pain.
A Me apologize? Surely you jest. I would agree that $84.53 is painful, but the article focused on how the statewide average on Oct. 24 -- the day you gassed up -- was $4.40 a gallon, 27 cents lower than the record high of $4.67 on Oct. 9, and how huge decreases were to come. And they have. Gas was under $4 a gallon on average in most of the Bay Area on Tuesday.
Q Being a grandparent, our kids said we've been hosting Thanksgiving for 46 years and now they want to do so in Folsom. Being retired, I could go any day. Should I go out on Wednesday, come back on Sunday, etc., etc.?
A Here are some early holiday travel tips. Hit the road before noon on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. If you are coming back on the following Sunday, leave as early as possible. That is one of the most heavily traveled days of the year.
Q The other day for the first time in months, I was able to get onto Highway 101 north from westbound Embarcadero Road without feeling that I had cheated death! Lovely job on the ramp and the LONG merging lane, Caltrans!
A Finally, a happy driver through this construction zone. The complaints about traffic through here and other construction zones -- Brokaw Road off I-880 and I-880 through Oakland -- have been so many. State officials say conditions will improve, and maybe they finally are.
Q I live in San Ramon and every day I travel through the intersection of Alcosta and San Ramon boulevards. Lately they have been doing some repairs and coincidentally there has been a problem with the timing of the lights on Alcosta coming off 680 north. The timing is so bad that the traffic exiting from 680 backs up to 580. It has never been this bad in the past. Who can I ask to look into this problem?
A Email your comments to PublicServices@sanramon.ca.gov.