Ross police are cracking down on two troublesome town traffic spots.

Police are closely watching motorists who make illegal U-turns in front of the post office on Ross Common and speeders who exceed the 25 mph limit on Bolinas Avenue, two violations that have appeared on the town's radar recently.

At the post office, police say drivers make their illegal U-turns on Ross Common so they can avoid driving through a parking lot to exit, saving time. But as they do that, they put pedestrians, bicyclists and others in danger.

"The problem is that, with the crosswalk to the post office and all the pedestrian and vehicular traffic in front of the post office and Ross Common, it is very dangerous to have cars suddenly whipping around to reverse direction," said Gary Broad, Ross town manager.

The problem came to town officials' attention over the past few months and, at the request of the Town Council, police began an enforcement campaign in April.

The first phase was a public education process highlighting the problem through postings at Ross Town Hall and the Ross Post Office, as well as e-mails to town residents, Broad said.

During the past month, police officers also stopped drivers and gave warnings for making illegal
U-turns. Over the past week, officers began issuing tickets, although an up-to-date tally was not available Monday.

On Bolinas Avenue, residents have expressed concerns about speeding drivers, and police have begun monitoring speeds. Bolinas Avenue also extends into San Anselmo, and officials from both communities are working together on the speed issue.

Initially, there will be a "voluntary compliance request program" in which violators will be notified via a letter to request an "improvement in their driving behavior," Broad said. A community service officer in an unmarked car will be used for that program.

Area residents, schools and businesses in both towns will be receiving a letter from law enforcement officials asking people to drive slower and be more mindful of safety on Bolinas Avenue.

Both towns also will collect speed data, with San Anselmo providing its radar trailer to keep track of vehicles' speeds.

"The trailer also helps because it shows people their speeds and they slow down," said Julie Gorwood, San Anselmo police public information officer. "Sometimes they get rolling and don't realize how fast they are going."

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