California Establishes Texting Only Lanes Effective January 1, 2017!

Effective January 1, 2017 new legislation bans all cellphone use while driving. See New California law prohibits all cellphone use while driving

However an obscure provision in California Assembly Bill 6666 creating Texting Only Lanes and Streets ALSO goes into effect next year! 

Recognizing the chronic behavior of texting drivers, Assembly Bill 6666 mandates that certain lanes, streets, and roads will be dedicated and restricted to Texting Only Drivers.

I. Selected carpool lanes will be converted to Texting Only Lanes…texting-only-sign

II. Certain roadways and streets will have different time limitations…


III. To use such lanes one MUST be texting while driving.

Failure to comply will result in a fine…


To enforce the new texting law, a fleet of 5000 drones equipped to monitor cellphone texting signals will deploy to monitor compliance.

  • If a non-texting vehicle is detected in a designated Texting Lane or Street, the drone will take a photo of the license and the vehicle occupants and automatically generate a violation notice.
  • Efforts to authorize drone missile strikes on vehicles with three prior non-texting violations were narrowly defeated in a late night vote.

PLEASE NOTE: Texting in all other lanes is still prohibited and will be monitored by the new drone fleet.

Drivers will also be given adequate notice as to when a Texting Lane is ending…end-texting-lane

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Petaluma Railroad Crossings Are Still Out of Control–Update

My previous post Petaluma Railroad Crossings Are Still Out Of Control! generated many e-mail responses and some discussion on Petaluma Nextdoor.  Admittedly, I was somewhat taken aback by incidents reported by others in these responses—all of which makes me wonder how bad things are on the rest of the line in Sonoma & Marin Counties.  It can’t just be here in Petaluma.

There were no responses from the authorities responsible for correcting the situation.

I have been repeatedly urged to make suggestions about how to deal with this situation and I am not going to give any such advice as the traffic and driving situations vary so much.

What YOU can do, however, is report these situations whenever you encounter them… but do so in a safe manner. Do not text or send e-mails while driving!!

Perhaps corrective actions will finally be taken.


The agency responsible for the tracks is SMART (Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit)


  • PHONE Railroad Crossings:  888-412-3330 (toll free) to report an emergency on the SMART roadway/rail grade crossing (stalled vehicle blocking crossing, suspected problems with crossing gate function, or any other emergency). For a fire or police emergency always call 9-1-1.
  • E-Mail

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Petaluma Railroad Crossings Are Still Out Of Control!

Frankly, I CANNOT believe I am having to tell this story…Again! Fortunately, this time we avoided damage to our vehicle.

I was foolish to believe that any serious corrective action would be taken after the close call we had with the total lack of coordination of the railroad signals and traffic lights on Lakeville & D Streets in December 2012.  For details of that event, go to Railroad crossing arms close on Petaluma couple’s car at green light.

Today, I observed that the Same Dangerous Lack of Coordination is still manifest–this time at Lakeville and East Washington.

  • We were headed downtown this morning and stopped at the red light on Lakeville and East Washington. As in December 2012, I was the passenger in the vehicle.
  • Our light turned green for East Washington traffic and within a few seconds the railroad lights started flashing and the arms came down.
  • At least two cars continued through the intersection driving past the arms as they were lowering.
  • The traffic light stayed green throughout the event.

Fortunately, I caught a few photos through the windshield to document this lack of coordination between the two signal systems.

Photo Notes

About 5 seconds passed before I took the first photo of the scene…



Here is another…eleven seconds later…



A minute later these railroad cars appeared…stopped at this location…then reversed and left the scene without crossing East Washington.

The arms went up and the traffic light finally went from green to red!



Fortunately there were no vehicles in the intersection at the time the arms finished closing–how the two that did pass through made it was pure foolish luck on their part.

Given the overall incompetence displayed here in failing to coordinate the lights, it will only be a matter of time before there are serious injuries or worse.

I dare anyone in authority to explain this kind of screwup…much less defend it!

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A Sign (Signs?) That Mirrors Our Time (Times)?

NOTE: Also offered as a second submission to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge–Mirror

First Reflection…

Missing Person

Recent Missing Person Poster in American Alley…The 1997 case is still unsolved

Second Reflection…

Putnam Plaza Petaluma CA

Putnam Plaza Petaluma CA

Third Reflection…

Identify Yourself

Identify Yourself

Fourth Reflection…




Walking The 101…

…even if pedestrians are not legal on a California Freeway!

I captured this image of a “traveler” (a.k.a. hitchhiker) on the side of the freeway by the Sonoma/Marin line…

Walkin' The 101

Walkin’ The 101

Given the increasing gridlock congestion on 101, he was progressing faster than we were…

Walkin' The 101

Walkin’ The 101

However, lane splitting motorcycles move faster than anyone…

Splitting The 101

Splitting The 101

Missing Roomba Alert!

I am passing this on immediately in hopes that someone or somebody will locate this missing Petaluma Droid!

Details and owner contact information below photo…

Roomba Missing!

Roomba Missing!

“As of last Tuesday, July 5, at 11 am, my Robot Roomba 650 Vacuum Robot went missing. I’m pretty sure he went out the side door. Petaluma isn’t that big, but on a full charge, a Roomba has a range of several miles.  Until he runs out power.  Roombas are notorious for going rogue.  I’m sooooo bummed.  This is the droid  you’re looking for! Your help is appreciated.”