The fact is, this one was so tough, it stumped some other law enforcement agencies before Los Altos Police Agent Neal Randles nailed it. (And if you are wondering what an Agent is, it's the equivalent of Corporal in other departments.)
Here's reader Douglas Smith's question, complete with great map:
“Do I need to stop at the red signal light when I am riding my bicycle eastbound on Foothill Expressway at the intersection with Homestead Road. I am confused because the limit line does not extend into the bicycle lane?”
Agent Randle's answer:
"The answer is that the City of Los Altos does not have bicycle lanes on Foothill Expressway. They are designated emergency stopping lanes. As such there is no need for a limit line at the intersection. Emergency stopping lanes are part of the intersection, and if the signal light is red you must stop and wait for a green light to proceed.
"Entering the intersection against the red signal light would be a violation of 21453(a) CVC that reads in part, “A driver facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown.”
"A bicyclist could be issued a citation for the violation."
By phone he added that at the more dangerous intersection of Foothill and San Antonio, the emergency lane does have a stopping line. He said that one gets so slick in rain that cars often spin out into the emergency lane.
Who knew? Looked like a bike lane to me. And it's a popular route for bikers from all over heading around the Peninsula and Silicon Valley.
PATCH editor Brad Kava will get your questions answered. Submit them in the comments below or to firstname.lastname@example.org
Preview of next week: Does a baby in a car seat qualify as a passenger for the carpool lane?