Adding a traffic signal can be ‘complex’ — there’s much to consider

Q. How does a city decide when to install traffic signals where none has existed before? By the number of people struck and killed by cars? Who in my city can I make a suggestion to?

– Lyle Strong, Costa Mesa

A. To offer a suggestion, contact Transportation Services at your City Hall: 714-754-5343.

Say Honk and your city’s public works director, Raja Sethuraman, passed along the number.

But understand …

“A decision to install a traffic signal is a significant and complex undertaking,” Sethuraman told Honk in an email.

“We routinely receive … requests for traffic-control devices, and we review each one and respond back with our findings and recommendations,” he said.

If a deep review is taken, it will “consider traffic conditions, pedestrian characteristics, accident history and physical characteristics of the location to determine whether a traffic signal is justified,” Sethuraman said. “Engineering judgment has to be applied (as well) to ensure that this is the best course of action.”

If a remedy is needed, other solutions would be considered before a traffic signal got the, well, green light – such as a roundabout or stop signs.

Those who live elsewhere and are seeking new traffic signals, go onto your local government’s website and look for some sort of traffic or transportation division to ring up, or just call your public works department.

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If a license plate disappears, so does its number — for good

Q. Hello Honk: Thought this would spike your interest. I have a driver’s test coming up. I know I must take a knowledge exam for driving, but I also have a motorcycle endorsement. The notice didn’t mention if I would also need a knowledge test for that, so I diligently took the time and called the Department of Motor Vehicles. The person didn’t know, so she put me on hold and came back and told me no one knew and I would find out when I came in. I don’t want a surprise, and the motorcycle handbook has some illogical laws. So I am reading up on them. Can you get me a straight answer?

– Michael Greenfield, Lake Elsinore

A. The Honk Phone isn’t quite as effective as the Bat Phone – but its pretty darn close.

Honk got ahold of a DMV representative up in Sacramento and was told if you have to take the standard test, you will need to take the motorcycle one as well.

But remember, for the standard driver’s license, called a Class C, you can take the knowledge test online if you want and are eligible – either an interactive course you can’t fail or the traditional test. For the motorcycle endorsement, online you can only take the standard test.

Better, if you are age 70 or older and eligible, Michael, you can renew your Class C, with your motorcycle endorsement, online or via mail – totally avoiding a DMV office – through this December. Even if your renewal notice says you must go to a DMV office.

And, under this scenario, no visual or written test is required – so you could drop the motorcycle handbook and instead pick up “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” or any other novel if you like.

HONKIN’ FACT: Spotted on the 605 Freeway near Whittier: A Tesla with the license plate of “NOMOMPG.”

To ask Honk questions, reach him at He only answers those that are published. To see Honk online: Twitter: @OCRegisterHonk

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