Traffic Jammin’ with Janis Mara – Every Monday at 2pm on Claycord.com.
TRAFFIC JAMMER: Greetings, all! This Claycord.com column is for everyone who negotiates the highways and public transit of the Bay Area. It runs every Monday at 2pm and answers your commuting and transportation questions.
Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMMUTER: I went to the Cheesecake Factory (in downtown Walnut Creek) over the weekend and I see the city put in parking meters I have a handicap placard. I know I can park in any metered parking space on the city street, so does that apply to the parking in the garage at the cheesecake factory?
TRAFFIC JAMMER: The Jammer talked to Robert Power, the owner of Park Smart Regional Parking, Inc., the company that manages the parking garage, about the metered parking in the garage.
jussaying, if you park in the metered spots, yes, you must pay and observe the 3-hour time limit. However, there are other options, Power said.
“We have handicap stalls on every level of the garage. Obviously, anyone with a placard can park there for any length of time for free,” the owner said. Additionally, “we are looking at a program in which if there are no available ADA (Americans with Disability Act) stalls on the first floor, our valet parkers will park the disabled person’s car for free.”
This new program has not yet been approved, but Power is pursuing it now, he said. “We are trying to initiate this program throughout downtown.” If it goes through, Power said, “All valet stands will do this.”
Power got the idea, he said, when he was talking with a gentleman from Rossmoor. “He said a lot of people from Rossmoor don’t come downtown because of parking,” Power said. While there is a shuttle from Rossmoor, Power said he realizes people would rather drive if they can.
COMMUTER: My husband and I are moving to New York for two years. We are supposed to get NY drivers licenses within 30 days of becoming residents. When we get our NY licenses, do our current CA licenses get revoked? Considering the move is temporary, our CA licenses should still be valid when we move back to CA.
(I believe we are to surrender our physical licenses to NY when we apply for our new ones.)
TRAFFIC JAMMER: Here’s the word from Jan Mendoza of the Department of Motor Vehicles:
“Customers need to file a report of the change of address within 10 days of moving to another state by submitting form DMV 14, which lets the department know about the status of vessels, vehicles, driver license and/or identification cards. Here is more information on moving out of state.
When the customers move back to California, they turn in their New York driver license at a California DMV office and get their California driver license back with the same number they had originally. They should have no problem unless they get their driver license suspended or a DUI that wasn’t cleared up before they move back to California. Those issues will show up in the national database.”
TRAFFIC JAMMER: We have an update on this question that ran last week:
COMMUTER: Did the City of Concord change the timing of the lights on Monument Boulevard? It’s taking an extremely long time to travel west/southwest on Cowell to Contra Costa Boulevard between 7:30 and 8 a.m. The main culprits seem to be the lights at Carey/Nursery and Mohr Lane. One turns green and the other turns red.
Traffic is getting backed up to Erickson Road. I’ve been driving this route to take my kids to school at Sequoia ES/MS for a few years and it seems worse than ever.
TRAFFIC JAMMER: jp5air, here’s the word from Concord Traffic Czar Ray Kuzbari.
“We sent out an engineer and a signal technician to check out the intersection,” Kuzbari said. “We checked the detectors to make sure they are working correctly. Sometimes they get stuck and cycle constantly.” In this case, Kuzbari said, no malfunctions were found.
“One engineer noticed that there are a lot of pedestrians crossing Monument at Mohr Lane,” Kuzbari said. “The pedestrians press the button and the signal provides a long time for them to cross, so they can do so safely. This shortens the time that would otherwise be allocated to Monument.”
Here’s another traffic signal question:
COMMUTER: The timing of the lights around Concord has really gotten bad lately. It seems they are always fooling with them and usually for the worse.
For the last month or more, the light at Concord Blvd. and Sixth St. immediately turns green if someone arrives on Sixth (north side). When Concord Blvd. gets the green it will only last a few seconds if another car arrives on Sixth.
TRAFFIC JAMMER: RunnerDope, your question got a chuckle out of Kuzbari. “That’s right outside my office,” the Traffic Czar said. “I have not noticed it, but will have it checked out right away.” The Jammer imagines if anything is amiss right outside the city’s transportation manager’s office, it will get taken care of quickly.
TRAFFIC JAMMER: Here at Claycord, we are fortunate enough to have our very own law enforcement officer who has been working this area for many years and enjoys sharing his knowledge. Here are some interesting insights from the officer that the Jammer believes will help us all understand and work with law enforcement officers more successfully.
Cops on coffee:
Why do you always see cops having coffee together? First and foremost, we are allowed our breaks. I mean, does anyone really work every single moment of every single work day? I’m telling you we don’t. We get a break. And we are usually have some common interests that brought us to this profession, so we are friendly with each other. We have families, friends, recreational activities, problems with bosses and co-workers and clients — and we discuss these things. Possibly the only difference is, we don’t always get that break, and, if need be, we stop in a heartbeat to handle that next emergency call.
Cops in parking lots:
Why do you see one or two police cars parked off in some parking lot? Is something going on? Yes. Lots. There is a tremendous amount of paperwork (report writing) that comes with the job. It’s the part you never see on TV or in the movies or anywhere else. For every few minutes of excitement or investigation requires a multiplier of documentation. We choose certain places so we can 1) be available to our beat for an emergency 2) be comfortable and safe 3) work with a minimum of distractions and/ or interruptions.
TRAFFIC JAMMER: That’s it for this week – see you next Monday. Be sure to cruise by Claycord.com at 2pm for more traffic intelligence. Remember, whether you drive, walk, bike or hop Amtrak, BART or AC Transit, Traffic Jammer Janis Mara is here to answer your questions.
Send your questions to email@example.com