'Query a Cop': Thwarting illegal U-turns


“Query a Cop” features reader questions fielded by Los Altos police officers.

Q: Like many residents, I’ve watched with dismay as cars driving on Main Street often ignore the double yellow lines, and even knock over the warning cones, as they make U-turns to get to parking spaces.

I realize that P.D. enforcement would require much more man (or woman) power. So what about simply extending a rod above the traffic cones, topped by a video camera (even a nonworking replica might work), to give the message to scofflaws that their driving is being monitored?

– Michael Rappaport

A: When we put the stanchions in there it was supposed to be a deterrent, and we feel like that is somewhat of a deterrent – we believe the violations have decreased some. If we were to put a rod or something like that, there’s a chance when people hit the stanchion, they may damage their cars.

If people see the stanchions there with cameras, there may be a transparency issue (with people being concerned they’re being monitored).

The reason the city put them there was for the very reason that we know they are going to hit them, and we don’t want to cause any property damage. The city is spending some time in the downtown area to see what improvements can make it safer.

– Capt. Scott McCrossin, Los Altos Police Department

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