Q I'm tempted to say that Prius drivers really are as dumb as they seem, but since you drive one, Gary, I'll refrain.
A Thank you.
Barbara's email roared in with dozens of others following this recent question from Christopher Ginac of Reno: "I love going to San Francisco in my Prius, but I've noticed on many of the hills in the city my car rolls back anywhere from a couple feet to almost a car length before I can hit the gas. Once I had a taxi so close to my back bumper, I started running the stop signs (after checking to see if it was safe) just to make sure I didn't roll back and hit him. If I hit him, who would be at fault legally even though it's clearly his fault in real life?"
The answer: Chris would be. But here's a solution:
Q Any new model Prius has a "hill-hold" feature. Depress the brake all the way to the floor. You'll then hear a beep, and "hill hold" will engage to keep the car still even if you take your foot off the brake.
A Hill what?
Q I grew up in San Francisco and learned on a stick shift, so I'm sympathetic to Christopher Ginac. I'm not sure which models have it, but my 2011 Prius has a hill start assist. To use it, press and hold the brake pedal hard for about three seconds. There will be a beep and the brake will be set until you hit the gas. Flippin' marvelous!
A Flippin' indeed!
Q The "hill" mode is not a feature one would stumble upon, and I suspect not a lot of people take the time to read the Prius manual.
A Not me, that's for sure.
Q Why does the name "Prius" appear so often in this column? I never hear "Honda CR-Z" or "Nissan Leaf" or "Chevy Volt" or "Tesla roadster" as often. I wouldn't mind if I didn't have to be reminded of the image of the ugliest vehicle since the Edsel.
A Ugliest, maybe. But popular, definitely!
Q I thought the Prius was a hideous beast and then the Prius V came out. I dare Mr. Roadshow to talk about Honda hybrids next time. Oh wait, only Prius drivers get themselves into stupid situations.
A Present company excluded, of course. Now consider this:
The Prius is now the best-selling vehicle in California, toppling the Honda Civic from its two-year grip on the No. 1 spot. Toyota sold 60,688 hybrids last year here, while Honda sold 57,124 Civics.
Does anyone else want to brag about their car?
Q Something of importance to your readers regarding a stolen car sticker. I bought my 2014 vehicle tag and three weeks later it was stolen off my rear license plate.
The lady at AAA recommended that I remove all old tags, then use a razor blade and cut the new sticker. She said if someone attempts to steal it again they won't bother with a piece of it, as they want the whole tag. I did as she said.
Please pass this information onto your readers. Everyone needs to cut their tags.
A I have printed this tip before, but a reminder is always helpful.
Q Hugh Allison's recent letter referred to "commies in Sacramento" over the 3.5-cent increase in the state gas tax that will take effect July 1. I think he just made a typing error. I think he meant "comics in Sacramento."
And, ya know, as much as I dislike cars in general (ask my husband), as a Californian, I take pride in our remarkable road system. Considering how much our lives and livelihoods depend on them, our cost of gas is cheap. The price of a scoop of ice cream -- now that's outrageous.
A Outrageous indeed. Mrs. Roadshow and I paid a little over $5 each for a medium-sized cup of yogurt the other day.
Your comments about our road system intrigued me. Does anyone else think our roads are "remarkable"?
Q Are there any plans to pave Johnson Avenue between Bollinger Road and Rainbow Drive in San Jose? It's is pretty bad right now.
A Afraid not. The city will send out crews to check and fill potholes, and Johnson is on the list of major streets needing paving. But that depends on when funding becomes available.