April 19, 2024
New buffered bicycle lanes in Sunnyvale look complicated, but they can be navigated safely by drivers and riders.

Q: There is a new bike lane on Java Drive in Sunnyvale, and it has line markings that I’ve never seen before. It’s a solid white line on the car traffic side, then a bunch of diagonal lines, then a dashed white line, then the bike lane, then the curb. The speed limit there is 45.

A buffered bike lane. (Google Maps image) 

Am I allowed to carefully merge into it, yielding to any bikes, in order to turn right into the parking lot of the post office, as with a regular bike lane? Or does the solid-on-my-side-dashed-on-their-side rule apply? Or am I supposed to be regarding a space filled with diagonal painted lines as if it were a concrete barrier? The City of Sunnyvale website calls it a buffered bike lane.

Lisa Payne, Sunnyvale

A: The new bike lanes installed along Java Drive are buffered bicycle lanes. The buffer is an additional space separating the bike lane from the regular vehicular traffic lane.

Motorists are not to enter the bike lane to make right turns at intersections until the bike lane and the buffer become dashed on the vehicular side, approximately 100 to 200 feet before the intersection. Motorists can make right turns in and out of driveways along Java Drive but should carefully check for bicyclists riding in the bike lane, just like a normal bike lane.

Q: My driver’s license is up for renewal. I initiated the renewal with a visit to my local DMV seven weeks before the expiration date. Fast forward to now, several weeks after my birthday (and the expiration of my driver’s license). The replacement has not arrived.

I tried the DMV website and cannot see how to check the status.

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The fine for driving with an expired license is $250 and your vehicle is towed. On the off chance that I get pulled over, will law enforcement understand that I submitted a renewal and the wait is excessive? Or should I not risk driving?
 How can I push the DMV to accelerate their execution?

Paul, Sunnyvale

A: I hope your new license has arrived, but if not, the DMV says customers who have not received their new or renewal driver’s license within 60 days of submitting their application can check their status on the DMV’s website. Log into your MyDMV account or create one. Or call the DMV at 1-800-777-0133, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

It is illegal to drive with an expired driver’s license and you can be cited by law enforcement if stopped. You can request a temporary driver’s license, valid for 60 days, until you receive your renewed license in the mail. You will need to return to the DMV to get a temporary license.

Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at [email protected].

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