Traffic Jammin’ with Janis Mara – Double Yellow Rules, New Sign Coming to PHR, Favorite Car Themed Movie + MORE

July 28, 2014 14:00 pm · 55 comments

Traffic Jammin’ with Janis Mara – Every Monday at 2pm on

TRAFFIC JAMMER: Greetings, all! This 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

COMMUTER: The other day, you discussed that it was illegal for a reader driving straight through two double yellow lines to get to an “official” turn lane – that makes sense.

But it is legal to drive into one to turn left into a driveway, right?

Is it legal to (usually turning left) pull into one from a driveway and wait to merge into traffic? 


TRAFFIC JAMMER: The Jammer turned to our resident law enforcement officer, Officer Leo, for help with this one, and he truly outdid himself. This is so brilliant, the Jammer thinks it should be in the DMV handbook. Here is his response, complete with photos:

Let’s first clarify the language.

Double yellow lines = 2 lines. Looks like:


Two sets of double yellow lines = 4 lines.  Shown here with hash marks in the space between:


And a two-way left turn lane has two solid outside lines and two broken inside lines.  Looks like:


OK.  Back to #1.  Double parallel lines indicate two-way traffic.  You may turn left, but cannot pass.

#2.  Two sets of double parallel lines that are two feet apart. Imagine a brick wall. Also referred to as a painted traffic island.  Thou shall not cross.

#3.  Two-way left turn lane.  You may enter to start or complete a left or U-turn. You cannot travel in one for more than 200 feet.

COMMUTER:  The intersection at Rolling Woods Way and Pine Hollow Road (in Concord) is very dangerous. When you turn left onto Rolling Woods from Pine Hollow you must yield to oncoming traffic. There is no sign stating, “Yield on left turn.” A sign should be added, a left turn lane with a left green arrow light should be installed or just change the intersection to stop signs in all three directions.

Sometimes cars turn right in front of oncoming traffic because the driver is not aware that it is a yield because there is no sign. Also, cars get stuck trying to turn left and cannot go because there is so much oncoming traffic traveling at high speeds. Then it becomes a game of chicken… cars turning left will turn very fast between oncoming cars. It is so dangerous. 

Why can’t it be changed to stop signs? There are stop signs just a couple of blocks up at Pine Hollow and Pennsylvania and it slows the traffic down and allows the traffic to flow smoothly.

–Concerned Mom

TRAFFIC JAMMERThe Jammer shared this note with Ray Kuzbari, Concord’s traffic czar, and he sprang into action immediately. “This sounds like a safety issue. I’ll get someone on it right away,” he promised.

After further investigation, Kuzbari told the Jammer, “We will add a sign on the far left side facing the turn. It might take a couple of weeks to acquire and install the sign.” Good job, Concerned Mom, in bringing this safety issue to light, and good job, Traffic Czar, in taking care of it! Claycordians, if you can keep an eye on this, please do let the Jammer know if the sign is up in two weeks.

COMMUTER:I live in Sherman Acres, which is at the intersection of Monument Boulevard and Ramona in Pleasant Hill. There is only one way in and one way out of our development.  Almost every day, I, and my fellow residents, am this close to being struck by a red light runner traveling up Monument towards Contra Costa Boulevard.  The same thing goes for red light runners crossing Monument, from the Buskirk Avenue intersection where Kohl’s is. 

I have had so many close calls.  I am hoping that some traffic cops can plant themselves in and around this area to catch these guys.  Anyone else out there having the same issue?


TRAFFIC JAMMER: Pleasant Hill Claycordians, have you observed this problem? The Jammer is going to reach out to the police, but the more information she can convey, the better. Thanks!

TRAFFIC JAMMER:  And finally – at the suggestion of one of our brilliant frequent Claycord posters – what is your favorite car-themed movie … or just a movie in which a car played a major role? Just as a data point, for the Jammer it was probably “Vanishing Point.”

TRAFFIC JAMMER: That’s it for this week – see you next Monday. Be sure to cruise by 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

1 Z-Man July 28, 2014 at 2:05 PM

RE: Sherman Acres intersection (Monument and Buskirk/Ramona). I cannot confirm, but I want to say that is unincorporated, so either: Sheriff (unlikely) or CHP, given that Caltrans controls the signals at or near that intersection.

Best of luck.

2 The Captain July 28, 2014 at 2:07 PM

If I Had a Million(1932)…WC Fields segment where he takes his gifted money and buys a fleet of cars and proceeds to wreck them. (the diminishing fleet of autos are always travelling behind, ready to replace the doomed car driven by our hero.

3 ClayDen July 28, 2014 at 2:08 PM

No question on the movie: Grand Prix.

4 Rebel July 28, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Gone in 60 Seconds and Bullit are my favs.

5 Speed Limits that suck July 28, 2014 at 2:35 PM

I travel up and down Center Avenue in Martinez from Pacheco up everyday. The speed limit is 25 even though it’s a wide road with a turning lane all the way up and down it. My issue is even when traveling the speed limit or just above (no more than 30) I always get passed. The cars go in the turn line and pass me as if I am only doing 15. This is so annoying and dangerous. I can’t wait for school to start so the police are present again. I guess these drivers don’t know the rule that Leo presented in #3 above.

6 Silva July 28, 2014 at 2:38 PM


7 That's All Folks! July 28, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Without a doubt, Bullitt, 2nd would be Return to Macon County and 3rd The California Kid.
@ The Captain, If I Had a Million, the best way to handle road rage.

8 Caution July 28, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Sunday 2:15 pm Railroad Ave and Buchanan Rd dark grey possibly primer older full size pick up drove thru the intersection at speed and did the same thing at next red stop light on Southbound Kirker Pass. Then continued South over Kirker Pass toward Concord at 75 – 90 mph.

Watch out for this idiot.

9 nytemuvr July 28, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Christine and Vanishing Point (saw it at the Pleasant Hill Drive-in in ’72 in my Challenger).

10 Robert Alexander July 28, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Blues Brothers

11 Pierre July 28, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Ronin with Jean Reno and Robert DeNiro.

12 just a concordian July 28, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Blues Brothers and Ronin have some absolutely phenomenal car chases. And that was until I watched Bad Boys 2.

13 Why do people need a sign... July 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

…to tell them to yield when turning left on a green light? Didn’t everybody learn that in driving school? Do we need signs saying to stop at red lights, yield to pedestrians, drive on the right side of the road, etc.?

14 ccat July 28, 2014 at 5:20 PM

The Bourne Identity – Mini Power

15 Cowellian July 28, 2014 at 5:50 PM

Vanishing Point, without a doubt.

16 Atticus Thraxx July 28, 2014 at 5:53 PM

The French Connection car chase still makes my palms sweat watching it, though other then heroin being found in a Lincoln and the car chase it’s not really a car movie.
But Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” really stuck with me.
I barely remember Vanishing Point. I’ll have to find it and watch again.

17 Tom July 28, 2014 at 6:03 PM

American Graffiti, followed closely by Blues Brothers and Bullitt.

18 Marissa July 28, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

19 Mom July 28, 2014 at 6:28 PM

I turn onto Rollingwoods many times every day. Sometimes it is challenging turning left, but that is usually due to School and commute traffic. I am sure there are many intersections in the same situation at those times of day. Everybody learned in drivers training to yield when turning left. I have a new driver in my house and she always wants to go to that intersection to practice the unprotected left turn. Patience is required and we all need to practice that.

20 Connie Dobbs July 28, 2014 at 6:40 PM

The opening scene of Ace Ventura, Pet Detective is righteous. Also in the Mr. Bean series, very tall Rowan Atkinson does some frightening and hilarious things with an Aston Mini. My favorite is the one where he wakes up late and performs his morning routine while driving to work.

21 Connie Dobbs July 28, 2014 at 6:43 PM

I think he’s sexy. I don’t care who knows it.

22 SeeK July 28, 2014 at 7:04 PM

No doubt, Grand Prix.

23 The best movie July 28, 2014 at 7:05 PM
24 waverunner July 28, 2014 at 7:41 PM

I’m for Vanishing Point. The whole premise of the movie was for a guy to move a car from point A to point B, however many miles, in however many hours. He had to stay awake, so obviously drugs were involved in order for him to do this. The entire country got involved with encouraging this guy on his journey, including a radio station jockey. Law enforcement across the country was chasing him and he finally met his end in a violent way.

The guy who played the driver went on to play an attorney in a tv series; can’t remember his name.

Was a great movie.

25 ClayDen July 28, 2014 at 7:42 PM

@Connie Dobbs

That is an Austin Mini (Aston was usually part of the Aston Martin name – think James Bond in his DB-5). The two primary Minis were badged as Austin and Morris, though there were also Riley and Wolseley versions, all part of British Motors Corporation, BMC. The Riley and Wolseley versions had a small trunk grafted on and a different front grill. My first car was a 1960 Morris Mini Minor, 848cc and 37.5 HP. The Austin and Morris versions differed primarily in the grill and badging. Note there was an Austin and Morris Minor, a completely different car. The Mini pioneered the transverse engine front wheel drive layout that most new cars use now. There were Cooper and Cooper S versions, 997cc, 998, 1071 and the most powerful at 1275cc. John Cooper of Cooper racing cars developed the performance versions. The Minis weighed ~1,200-1,400 lb and were 10 feet long with an 80″ wheelbase. I could make a 3 point U-turn in a normal two car garage.

BTW, the “DB” stood for David Brown, the former owner of Aston Martin.

26 CoCoOld July 28, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Smokey and the Bandit, no question.

27 Even Better July 28, 2014 at 7:59 PM
28 Teacher Wannabe July 28, 2014 at 8:31 PM

@#13, apparently yes, since many drivers need the reminders. Sad, but true.

29 Michelle(original) July 28, 2014 at 8:38 PM

American Graffiti

30 ChampagneKitty July 28, 2014 at 9:07 PM

I just want to say that even though I rarely comment on this column, I do read it and appreciate it being here. Thank you Traffic Jammer and Mr. Mayor!

31 Cowellian July 28, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Oh, you mean this guy!

32 Ancient Mariner July 28, 2014 at 9:56 PM

I’ll go with:
“If I Had a Million”, my little Penguin!

33 Fair Oaks resident July 28, 2014 at 10:44 PM

There are so many red-light runners heading north on Buskirk at Lampkin Lane just before Monument. Not only that but drivers continually block the “Keep Clear” sections of all the lanes there. It’s very difficult to get out of Fair Oaks because of it…when the light changes green for drivers to turn right onto Buskirk they can’t because people are blocking the intersection. Sure wish someone would look into that!

34 rolling woods July 28, 2014 at 10:57 PM

It is so dangerous making a left turn from Pine Hollow to Rolling Woods. The cars on Pine Hollow speed so fast that it is so difficult make the turn. They should change the light to a left turn arrow so the traffic on Pine Hollow would be stopped and let the cars turn.

35 dk July 29, 2014 at 6:45 AM

I see red light runners almost everyday at almost every intersection. It really pisses me off ! Nowadays people think that a red light is a suggestion to stop not a command to stop. And I’m not just talking about 1 car, sometimes 2 or 3 will go through.

36 RealityCheck July 29, 2014 at 6:51 AM

This is for #5 above….

If you are constantly getting passed like you say, then no matter what the speed limit, you are driving too slow. You need to go with the flow of traffic. If you are the slowest car on the road, you are the problem.

That said, if it’s just one or two hot-rodders passing you, then that’s another story. But if not, then speed the hell up or stay off the road.

37 Silva July 29, 2014 at 9:17 AM

So I have “Vanishing Point in my queue now, Thanks, Y’all. Says it’ll be a long wait though. I think that means there’s only one copy, and they just got many requests for it!

38 anon July 29, 2014 at 9:35 AM

“I see red light runners almost everyday at almost every intersection.”

If their front tires are over the limit line (closest line to the center of the intersection) when the light is yellow – it is legal.

39 nytemuvr July 29, 2014 at 9:51 AM

@ClayDen #25
And there was a “D B Cooper”, but no one has seen it, one was reportedly seen in the northwest, but it jumped ship and hasn’t been seen for decades.

40 RunnerDope July 29, 2014 at 9:56 AM


Barry Newman. The series was Pertocelli.

Google is your friend.

41 Cowellian July 29, 2014 at 10:06 AM

Silva, make sure it’s the 1971 version.

42 Silva July 29, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Okay thanks Cowellian! :) (I did)

43 nytemuvr July 29, 2014 at 10:10 AM

@waverunner #24
Barry Newman was the driver and went on to play “Petrocelli” as an attorney on TV. Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger, Bonnie & Delaney Bramlett, Rita Coolidge and David Gates(of Bread was the piano player) were in the original movie too.

44 Silva July 29, 2014 at 10:32 AM

HAHAHAhahaha,, oh thanks nytemuve!

45 City Girl July 29, 2014 at 10:34 AM

My complaint is the stop sign runners along Wilson Lane from Thornwood down to West Streetj in Concord. I see them most every morning around 7:15 on my way to work. These are not even “CA” stops. People drive through them at 15+ miles/hour.

46 Silva July 29, 2014 at 10:37 AM

If I Had a Million sounds interesting, Ancient Mariner.

47 @Caution #8 July 29, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Thanks for the warning. I’ll be extra careful if I go back in time and drive through there last Sunday.

48 July 29, 2014 at 11:36 AM

@TOB, your comment was seen but wasn’t part of the conversation. Thanks for your comment.

49 ClayDen July 29, 2014 at 1:46 PM

@nytemuvr #39

It was a Boeing 727 that was involved. After that happened, the FAA required an interlock that would prohibit the aft airstair doors from opening in flight (primarily B-727s and DC-9/MD-80s).

50 Location, location July 29, 2014 at 7:43 PM

@ reality check #36. On the freeway you may be right, but that is a zoned residential area, hence 25 MPH. I see the speeders all the time too. Martinez PD needs to designate a team to spotlight that area. Any budget issues would be quickly dealt with.

51 arghhh! July 29, 2014 at 9:42 PM

I get so frustrated with the 680 Monument off-ramp! I go down the ramp in the far right lane, to turn right onto Monument. the lane markers show that the far right lane turns into the middle lane on Monument (the right lane turns onto Buskirk at the light). The next lane over is supposed to turn into the far left lane on Monument, but almost every time I take that off-ramp, I nearly get broadsided by someone who thinks they have the middle lane! Fortunately my horn has saved me thus far! Sure do wish they’d put up lane turning signs coming down that off ramp, so people would know which lane their car is supposed to turn in to!!!

52 @ arghhh! July 29, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Take the contra costa blvd exit then turn right onto monument.

53 Dr. Jellyfinger® July 30, 2014 at 1:34 AM

Isn’t the answer painfully obvious? It was Dirty Mary Crazy Larry !

54 Antler August 1, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Weren’t there some spectacular vehicle scenes in “Last Vegas”?

55 Antler August 1, 2014 at 2:38 PM

What about in “Seven Psychopaths”?

How do some of you find such wonderful links to movie clips? So much fun!

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