QUESTION: Who owns that short lane next to the Taco Bell across from The Junction shopping center? When it was first built, probably over 30 years ago, the pavement had normal striping, including a left turn pocket. The paint wore completely away in maybe 10 years. When I am leaving The Junction center on a green light and someone is zooming down that lane from Sonora Fitness, I can't tell whether they may be making a left turn or not, since most folks in a hurry don't use their turn signals.

Maybe 10 years ago, I sent an email to the County Roads folks asking about this matter, but I didn't get a response. Even if it is a private road, I think it could impact safety on Mono Way. Perhaps the next time the city or county has a striping contractor in the area, they could contact the responsible party and ask that they chip in a couple hundred dollars to restripe their road?

ANSWER: We went back to our road czar, Duke York, for the answer to yet another road question. He said Mono Way and the traffic signal are the purview of the county. The rest, as they say, belongs to others, as in The Junction shopping center that maintains one side of the light through the center’s maintenance association and the Taco Bell and Sonora Fitness on the other. Taco Bell and the fitness center don’t have a formal agreement to maintain the drive.

“They also share in the liability if it is not maintained,” York said. “Because Tuolumne County is 100 percent responsible for maintenance of the signal and we do regular striping on county maintained roads, I can certainly coordinate with the commercial businesses on both sides of our road when we have our county striper contractor working in that area.

York sent an email later and said he drove by the intersection to look at the pedestrian markings. He asked his staff to restripe the two markings at both intersecting driveways to allow people to better see where to walk.

“This striping work is located within the county’s maintained road right-of-way,” he said. “The centerline stripes leading away from these crosswalks remain the responsibility of the commercial businesses.”

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