Q Holy smokes! A crackdown is right. I drove through Redwood City at El Camino Real and Whipple Avenue one day last week about 1 p.m. and saw the cops gearing up for what I presume was a cellphone crackdown.
I would say that within three minutes, officers had pulled over eight people -- no waiting. When I was driving back about an hour later, there were six cars pulled over.
It was impressive and intimidating to see. I'm curious to know just how many people they nabbed over that short span.
A I don't have the tally of how many tickets were issued. Just say it was a lot.
You witnessed the third deployment of the San Mateo County Saturation Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP), a joint effort consisting of traffic officers throughout the county. Their mission is to increase traffic safety on the Peninsula in problem areas based on collision data, complaints and police observation. And what were they looking for here?
Distracted drivers talking on cellphones and texting, pedestrian right-of way violations and speeding drivers. A statewide crackdown on texting and cellphone use begins Monday.
Q Do cars in the commute lane have to move right for faster cars?
A Move over if you can do so safely, but that is not always easy to do during commute hours. So carpool tailgaters, back off.
Q Some years ago I heard you talk at the Technology & Society Committee lunch in Mountain View. Yours was one of the best presentations, aside from a UFO believer. I don't think he will come back, but maybe you will?
A As soon as my body heals, beam me up, Eric!
Q I have contacted you before about how unsafe Bird Avenue is in Willow Glen between Minnesota and Willow. Cars fly through this area at an unsafe speed, and there have been at least four instances recently where cars have lost control and crashed into other cars and even gone through houses.
Since this street will be going through a major repaving project, is there any way that either traffic could be routed one way only or could speed bumps be added between Cristina and Minnesota? This road is very narrow and neighborhood cars are parked on one side, barely allowing for two-way traffic. I feel there is still another accident waiting to happen.
Mary Lou Snowden
A Converting Bird Avenue into a one-way street and installing speed bumps will not likely happen, say city officials. Bird is a main street providing neighborhood access to and from the freeway, schools and nearby commercial areas. And it is also a primary response route for emergency vehicles, which rules out speed bumps.
Here is what you can do for speeding concerns: Contact the city's Traffic Enforcement Unit website at www.sjpd.org/_forms/TEU_Request_Form.asp.
The existing center and edge lines are pretty faded, and upcoming work will redo the striping between Cristina and Vernon. An additional curve warning and other signs will be installed near the curve north of Vernon.
Q Last week at about 5:15 p.m., a large car carrier was parked in the right lane of Middlefield Road in front of the Palo Alto Toyota dealership south of San Antonio Road. This caused a large traffic backup beyond the Middlefield/Old Middlefield Way junction. How can the Toyota dealership block off 50 percent of a major road during rush hour?
A Not good. If there is an issue with trucks parked in no-parking zones, the best thing you can do is call Palo Alto's nonemergency number (650-329-2413). Jaime-the-City-Traffic-Man says Palo Alto discourages the dealership from using San Antonio as a loading area for safety reasons. Your concern will be forwarded to the city's economic development manager.