Q It seems it's time to start ranting again about people locking pets in cars in the heat. One day recently I was at the CVS on San Tomas Aquino Road in Campbell, and when I came out there was a darling little dog peering out the window of a gold-colored Honda minivan. The windows were cracked about an inch, but when I got in my car, it was quite hot despite my dark window tinting.
I waited several minutes to see if anyone came out, and finally I got out and took the license number, walked back to CVS, and just as I was going in, a man with two kids walked out and headed for the minivan. I followed them back to our cars, and when he went to get into his car, I politely but firmly spoke up, telling him he should NEVER leave a pet locked in the sun like that. He said, "Even if it wasn't very long?" I said no, never.
He mumbled some other excuse that it wasn't that hot, it wasn't long, and I told him if he loved his pet, he wouldn't do that. He drove off with a disgusted look on his face. Gary, the guy just DIDN'T GET IT!
Thank you so much for listening, and I hope you can help. And I am more than just an animal lover; I train them for a living.
A The father at least took his kids with him, but people often forget that unattended animals are also at risk. An outside temperature of 101 degrees can easily
Here are some tips from the Office of Traffic Safety about leaving kids or animals in vehicles on warm days:
If you see a child unattended in a hot vehicle, call 911. And if you're driving with a child in a car seat in back, place your cellphone, purse or another important item you'll need at your next stop on the floor in front of the child. This will help keep you from forgetting your child is there, which may seem inconceivable, but it happens, with tragic results.
Q I recently read Nancy Hannigan's question about the bush removal on Interstate 880 near Brokaw Road and was hoping you could tell me that Caltrans is leaving the huge trees on the west side of the onramp from eastbound Montague Expressway to southbound I-880. There are many turkey vultures that live in them and they're beautiful to watch. The cones that are in place make it look like some of them will be taken down.
A Your vultures will be safe. Caltrans says it has no plans to remove trees on I-880 at Montague, where a carpool lane is being added.
Q I noticed that the new, taller median barrier on Highway 17 is in place. While there is no real impediment to deer, this barrier will present a real obstacle to small animals. I can just picture possums, raccoons and the like hitting the wall and maybe getting nailed by cars as they scrabble about looking for a way out unless there are occasional critter crossings under 17, of which I am not aware. Are there any?
A No animal passageways were planned for 17 and none existed previously, but there have been very few accidents involving animals over the years. There are several locations where there are small 18-inch and larger 60-inch culverts that cross Highway 17 that animals use.
Q I recall one of your motorcyclist readers wrote that he gives a wave to courteous automobile drivers who make room on the freeway. I reflected on this approach as a strategy for communicating with motorists when I ride a bicycle in the Portola Valley and Skyline areas. My reasoning is that a friendly interaction is the only way to influence motorist behavior in a good way. If I give a sign of annoyance to someone who values their convenience above my life, it will probably reinforce their concept of me as vermin. So this is what I have been doing:
I use all three hand signals, and I mean right, left and stop, and not "the bird." Commercial truck drivers really seem to appreciate it when I indicate I will stop at a stop sign where they plan to turn in front of me.
If motorists wait their turn rather than cutting me off or stealing the right of way, they get a wave because that courtesy is not the norm.
Anytime I see California Highway Patrol or San Mateo County sheriff's vehicles on the roads where I ride, they get a thumbs-up because their presence reduces dangerous motorist behavior. I hope other cyclists will consider this policy as a way to convince motorists that cyclists are people worthy of care by drivers of deadly machines and encourage law enforcement officers to look out for cyclist safety. The occasional positive response I get in return makes me think it is working.
A Good advice!