Briefing Room: answers to questions about roadways and traffic safety

Dear Capt. Nicholas,

Apollo Drive is a short road between Westminster Blvd. and Seal Beach Blvd., but it has two safety issues.

Issue 1: There is a blind intersection about halfway between Westminster Blvd. and Seal Beach Blvd. The blind intersection is caused I believe by some trees or shrubbery.

Today, as I drove north on Apollo Drive, I almost got hit by a pick-up truck that made that blind left turn out of the parking lot onto Apollo Drive (and ignored what I believe is a stop sign). If I hadn’t slowed when I saw the truck begin to barrel out of the parking lot, I think I would have gotten hit.

Issue 2: There is a Starbucks with an entrance on Apollo Drive, and the line for the drive-thru sometimes spills out onto Apollo Drive. In those instances, when you turn from Seal Beach Blvd. onto Apollo Drive, you are blocked and must either wait for the line to recede from Apollo Drive or risk pulling around the line by driving in the opposing lane.

Is it within police jurisdiction to do anything about either of these issues? If not, can you direct me to someone who might be able to?

In the interests of no one being the kind of accident victim on Apollo Drive that I almost was today, I write to you inspired by the adage, “Prepare and prevent instead of repair and repent.”



Hi John,

Thanks as always for your interesting questions.  I sincerely appreciate all the times you’ve written in, and all the questions I can help answer for you.  That was and is the original intention of this weekly column.

I believe the roadway/intersection in question is actually Road C.  Road C connects Seal Beach Boulevard with Westminster Avenue (passing between the Boeing/Starbucks/Hampton Inn parking lots).

From Seal Beach Boulevard, Apollo Drive does not connect to Westminster Avenue, as a portion of the roadway is blocked by a fence behind the Boeing property.

Apollo Drive does connect with Saturn Way but that also dead ends into a business lot.  From Westminster Avenue, Apollo Drive turns into Apollo Court, which leads to the industrial complex near Affliction and the north side of Boeing.  I know the whole thing is totally confusing.

Okay, back to Road C.

To help answer your question, I checked with Public Works Director Iris Lee.  Director Lee confirmed that Road C is a City of Seal Beach roadway, despite the fact that it travels through a commercial complex.  After confirming this fact, I asked our Traffic Bureau (more specifically our motor officers) to check the area and see what can be done about ensuring the roadway is safe.

First, they met with Starbucks employees who stated they would use traffic cones to help prevent cars from backing up while waiting in the drive-through line during peak hours.

The motors also wanted me to remind everyone that Road C has a double-yellow line separating lanes of traffic.  According to the California Driver Handbook:

“Do not pass over double solid yellow lines. Stay to the right of these lines unless you are:  In a high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) carpool lane that has a designated entrance on the left. Instructed by construction or other signs to drive on the other side of the road because your side is closed or blocked. Turning left across a single set of double yellow lines to enter or exit a driveway or private road or make a U-turn.”

Therefore, please do not drive into opposing lanes of traffic if the roadway is blocked with vehicles waiting to enter the Starbucks.

Also, we will work with the property management to ensure that any vegetation is maintained to help maintain visibility in the area.

Lastly, if you have traffic concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

We can assign our Traffic Bureau to help monitor and enforce traffic regulations in specific areas.

Our non-emergency number is (562) 594-7232.

Keep your questions coming Seal Beach!  Email us at today.