Q A friend was stopped at an intersection slightly blocking the crosswalk. Someone started to cross, so my friend backed her car up. Unfortunately, she didn't notice an industrial-sized truck had pulled up behind her and she backed her Prius into it. She got out to check for damage and there was none to either vehicle, but the driver of the truck demanded $50.
A He demanded what?
Q He didn't even get out of his truck, just kept saying, "You hit my truck. Give me $50 and I'll forget about it." When she refused, he threatened to call police. She told him to go ahead and call the police.
A Good for her.
Q She drove away and he followed her for some time, honking. When they came to a stoplight he got out of his truck, came up to her window and demanded $50 again. She drove in circles and eventually he gave up. She wondered if he was trying to take advantage of her because she fits the profile of a "little old white-haired lady". What should she have done?
A Exactly what she did. Offer to share insurance information, then tell him politely to take a hike and leave. But don't fork over cash to a bozo like this.
Q I think you gave the major street changes in downtown San Jose
A The new bike lanes on Almaden Boulevard and 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 11th streets are set off by a solid white line, hatched diagonal lines and a dashed white line. This has necessitated the removal of some lanes for vehicles and ticked off some motorists, including ...
Q Traffic before was bad but now they've taken out an entire lane and designated it as a bike lane only. I understand the idea but really, traffic was already bad with three lanes and now with two it's even worse. I work at San Jose State and on some mornings delivery trucks block one lane and traffic backs up as far as you can see. People even drive in the bike lanes so they can get to work even though they aren't supposed to do that. I'm not sure how this is helping anything.
A City officials will hold a briefing this week to try to clear up the confusion. New bike symbols have been airbrushed on the roadways and more signs will be installed.
Drivers can cross in or out of these bike lane where the inside buffer line is broken or dashed. They are permitted to cross into buffered bike lanes to park, enter driveways or make right turns within 200 feet of an intersection. It is NOT legal for motorists to treat the wider bike lanes as a third travel lane.
This will be confusing for a spell, but over time drivers will adjust. This has been the case on other downtown streets that have had lanes removed, as well as on Pruneridge Avenue in Santa Clara.
Q You deal with the flow of traffic, right? This is kind of off the wall. But I was always taught to stay to the right when I drive, walk or whatever. But why are stores like Safeway on Hamilton Avenue in Campbell putting exit and entrance doors on the left and not the right -- confusing people? That's the "wrong" side of the road. Are the architects from Europe or England or something? We need to address this.
A We most certainly do. Safeway says it gets this complaint a lot. The store will be installing a single sliding door in the near future, eliminating the swing doors and the confusion.
But there is a reason for this design. A Safeway official says when customers enter at the left side of the store, they typically grab a shopping cart outside and to the left of the doors, then enter through the left doors and either go straight or move left to start shopping. Customers exiting from the checkout counters use the doors closest to checkout, which are on their left. Safeway is trying to avoid shopping cart collisions or having customers wait for cross traffic.
Another pressing traffic concern tackled!
Q There is a SMART car in Los Gatos with the followin.g plate just below the SMART on the back of the car -- HI. IQ.
A You sure that wasn't a Prius?