Briefing Room: About U-turns on Main and Electric

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Q. Good article on U-Turns, thank you. I have a related question. Is it legal to make a U-turn in the Main Street / Electric Avenue intersection?

Thank you,

Bill

Hi Bill,

Thank you for you the feedback and additional question. After I sent last week’s answer I realized I probably should have let readers know where it is legal to make a U-turn. So you are asking about making a U-turn at an intersection on Main Street. The short answer it is legal to make the U-turn under Vehicle Code §22102.

Specifically, this section states no person shall make a U-turn in a business district except at an intersection, or where an opening is made available on a divided highway in accordance with §21651. When making a U-turn, make your turn as close to the far left hand lane as possible in the direction of oncoming traffic. Please remember to use caution and double check in all directions for pedestrians or other traffic.

Hope this answered your question!

Q. Why can we not back into a spot at the beach lots? My parking pass is on the windshield and easy to see. I don’t get it. Thanks for your help.

Josh

Hey Josh,

This is a good question. My family members regularly make fun of me because I always back into parking spots, even when I’m off-duty and in my own car. I tell them it is from years responding to emergency calls and not wanting to take the time to reverse when I need to get somewhere fast! They don’t get it…

I asked Corporal Jordan Mirakian to help me answer your question. I heard he had gotten a parking ticket for this, so I knew it was fresh in his mind. “As someone who received a citation for this, like you, I was confused as to why I got a ticket. The intent of the parking regulation is so our parking control officers can read vehicle license plates and registration information. All vehicles in California are required to have a front license plate, although some car owners neglect to put them on. Also, registration stickers must be affixed to the rear license plate. By requiring cars to park front facing in, it helps our parking control officers see the license plates and ensure the vehicle is currently registered. Hope this helps!”

Q. I totally get closing beach parking lots and tot playgrounds at the beach. But could the beach restrictions be modified to prevent loitering or congregating, but allow walking or running? It’s an ideal location to get out in the fresh air with more than enough space to allow everyone to accommodate social distancing. As it stands, all those walkers and runners have now been pushed onto the street sidewalks, making them more crowded. Is this what we want to achieve?

Greg

Greg,

I appreciate your concern with social distancing and the use of the beach. The City understands that access to the outdoors for recreation is important to the health of the community. However, we also know that in order to prevent any more deaths from this horrible virus, we need to ensure that people are following Governor Newsom’s stay at home order. Seal Beach is not the only coastal community to close the beach. All beaches in Los Angeles County are closed. Three quarters of San Diego beaches are also closed. Locally, Laguna Beach closed their beach which consists of eight miles of coastline.

I understand that it would seem as though the open, sandy areas of the beach would allow for enough space for the community to maintain social distancing requirements. The last weekend that the beach was open we saw several people disobeying the requirements. Furthermore, a recent article from the LA Times explains the dangers of being near the sand and water during this pandemic (search for “Coronavirus at beaches? Surfers, swimmers should stay away, scientist says” in the April 2nd edition). There is no way for the Police Department to open the beach during specific times, or just limit the use to residents of Seal Beach, or otherwise modify restrictions. Unfortunately, this has to be an all or nothing approach.

I know you may see more runners and walkers on sidewalks. All green spaces in Seal Beach are open so feel free to recreate in other areas if you believe sidewalks have become too congested. Rest assured, the PD is actively monitoring all areas where people tend to congregate to look for violations or other hazards. As always, if you observe violations, please call us on our non-emergency line (562) 799-4100 ext. 1 to report these issues. If you have concerns about the County’s response to this pandemic, the OC COVID-19 Hotline is (833) 426-6411.

I know this situation is not ideal and we all want things to go back to normal quickly. However, it is critically important that we all do our part to help flatten the curve and prevent any more deaths. This is especially important in Seal Beach where 40% of our population is over 65 years old and considered in the high-risk category. I hope you can understand that the City Staff, the Police Department, and City Council Members have not taken these hard decisions lightly. We are doing our best to help stop this pandemic. Once this is over, we’ll appreciate the fact that we live and work by the beach that much more.

PD NOTE: This last question was asked by Geri on our Facebook page. By the way, are you following us on social media? I think you’ll dig what we are posting.

Q. Yesterday [Monday, March 30] around 1 p.m., two patrol cars were rushing northbound on Seal Beach Boulevard in front of Leisure World. Were you responding to a call?

Geri

Geri,

This is a common question. When I’m off-duty and see a police car speeding past me, I always wonder what is going on too. To answer your question I asked our wonderful West-Comm dispatchers for help looking at the dispatch log. It looks like our officers were responding to a burglary alarm at a local cell phone store. With many businesses being closed due to COVID-19, some criminals might think this is a good time to go breaking in to homes or businesses, even during broad daylight! Fortunately, this call was just a false alarm.

When you see us driving somewhere in a hurry, we are responding to an urgent call. Sometimes you’ll see us drive slowly. We’re taught in the academy to drive at a slower “patrol speed,” keep our heads on a swivel, actively look for suspicious activity, and roll down the windows (even in the rain) so that we can hear the sounds of what is going on around us. This is for officer safety purposes, but also because after a while we get to learn the sounds of our city. Anyone who lives in Old Town, or any other area in town, can tell you that the neighborhood sounds a certain way and you can normally tell when something is out of place. If you hear tires screeching or glass breaking in the middle of the night, you know something is going on (by the way, please call us to report anything suspicious like that, we want to know about it even if it turns out to be nothing).

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions to us this week. We really enjoy answering your questions so keep them coming!

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Have a question about parking? Ask us. Want to know what we think of the show “Live PD”? Ask us. Curious to know if police officers prefer In-N-Out over Five Guys? Ask us. This is your opportunity to get a cop’s perspective on things, directly from a cop. While we can’t answer questions about tactics, certain procedures, or active investigations, we will try to answer any other burning questions you may have.

Email your questions to askacop@sealbeachca.gov today and see if your question gets answered in our regular Q&A.