Queen: Loyal subjects, strike the harp and make merry. Amid the depressing economic news that assaults us regularly, there are still happy tidings. Today's column will run nothing but good news, just to give us all a respite. First, here's a note from an exasperated commuter and the satisfying response:
Commuter: I've noticed since the cell phone law went into effect that more people are holding cell phones with their right hand against their right ear. I assume they think no one can see them using their phone. Of course, this just makes it more dangerous. How actively are tickets being given out? I vote for more.
Queen: Susan, rejoice. Law enforcement cracked down Aug. 11, with California Highway Patrol officers and other agencies issuing more than 650 citations to Bay Area motorists talking on mobile phones while driving. On Tuesday, law enforcement held another cell phone crackdown.
The Queen has published many angry letters about this. Looks like the CHP is listening.
Queen: Earlier this month, the Queen ran a letter from a subject who parked for 20 minutes at Coit Tower in San Francisco and got a ticket. (Loyal Subjects, remember: No parking in the Coit Tower lot on weekends unless you live in the neighborhood!) Here's the latest news:
Commuter: Thank you for all your encouraging e-mails and investigation. I just received a letter telling me that the ticket has been dismissed. Yippee!
Queen: The Queen is happy for you, Peggy.
Commuter: Are there regulations governing the raising and lowering of drawbridges in the Delta? On Aug. 9 between 1:10 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., both the Rio Vista Bridge and the State Route 160 bridge were raised for no apparent reason. I was caught in the traffic backup at both bridges.
Robert Monaco, Rio Vista
Queen: Under Coast Guard rules, "Drawbridges shall open promptly and fully for the passage of vessels when a request to open is given. "..." The Caltrans Delta Region Manager checked the log and verified that vessels made requests at the times Bob mentioned. One came from the sailboat "Eli," which was given a draw at 1:05 p.m. at the Rio Vista Bridge. The manager noted, "Sailboats are hard to see because most of the time the sails are down."
Commuter: Yesterday at the movies, the trailers included a public service announcement with excellent photography that gave a much-needed explanation of what is going to happen during the upcoming Labor Day Bay Bridge closure.
Queen: That is a great technique to remind drivers that the Bay Bridge will be closed Labor Day weekend, starting at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3. Look for more details about the closure all week in the Times.
Queen: If you're a carpooler, here's a chance to maybe get some free ice cream courtesy of Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream. Make a carpool-themed video and send it to www.sparetheair.org so the Bay Area Air Quality Management District can use it to woo more people into carpools. You could win an ice cream party.
The Queen loves Dreyer's so much, her friends have practically had to stage an intervention. (And don't go jumping to conclusions regarding corpulence thanks to ice cream consumption. The Queen works out six days a week.)
Got questions about your commute? Whether you drive, ride, bike or walk, write the Queen at The Commuter Page, c/o The Times, P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, or firstname.lastname@example.org.