Q Once every couple of weeks when I am making a left turn from Castro Valley Boulevard to Strobridge Drive in the early morning heading north to Interstate 580, I will be sitting in the left-turn lane with a red arrow for five to ten minutes. During this time the light will cycle for all directions two or three times. What are my options?
A So many have asked the same question so many times. What do you do now?
Q Since this occurs when there is little traffic, when it is clear with no cars coming from any direction, I carefully complete my left turn against the red. Would it be better to move across the intersection and merge right with the through green? Other than sitting for five to ten minutes waiting for a light change that never comes, how should this be handled?
An urgent page for Bruce-the-Roadshow-Traffic-Consultant and longtime motorcycle cop:
"It sounds like this reader is doing it right. Short of just sitting there until the baseball season is over, be very careful and make the left turn. Yes, I think it's added insurance to make the right on the through green. Bottom line is, if you cause an accident it's going to be on you, so be extra careful. Lastly, notify the authorities that there is a malfunction to the light. It should be cycling."
Q I saw something at a Giants game that just didn't seem right. The Giants have installed a handful of charging stations and EV spots in Lot A. They are just about as close to the ballpark as you can get.
We drove our Nissan Leaf up to a game from Palo Alto, and we were counting on a charge while we watched the game. But all spots were full of EVs -- not a big deal -- but some of the EVs parked in those spots WERE NOT EVEN PLUGGED IN. That strikes me as just plain wrong. If you don't need to charge, don't use the space.
A And ...
Q I've also seen the same thing at charging stations in the short-term garage at SFO. What gives? Do these people think owning an EV entitles them to act like jerks?
A This is a growing issue at many parking lots. Experts say that at private lots one charging station is needed for every two of their employees' electric vehicles.
Typically, parking folks do not intervene or admonish drivers in these situations, mainly because there could be a variety of reasons why the EV is unplugged. An example is that older charging units at SFO have one cord and one plug for charging. Many times the person who arrives first uses the charging cord and may have completed the charging process when a second vehicle parks in the adjacent EV stall.
The second vehicle takes the cord from the first and uses it on his vehicle because the first one is done charging (and in some cases before the first vehicle is done charging). Said Doug-the-SFO-Guy: "It wouldn't be right to penalize the unplugged vehicle for being in an EV stall and not charging."