New ordinances look to stop speeders in neighborhoods

New ordinances look to stop speeders in neighborhoods
Kim Wolf spoke with her 8-month-old son Graham in strong favor of adding stop signs on Levante Street, where she and her family live, at the Jan. 29 Carlsbad City Council meeting. Photo by Rachel Stine

CARLSBAD — Ordinances to install 11 new stop signs on three residential streets in Carlsbad was introduced and unanimously supported by City Council at its Jan. 29 meeting. 

After months of studying residential streets within the city, the CRTMP (Carlsbad Residential Traffic Management Program) identified Magnolia Avenue, Esfera Street, and Levante Street as eligible for traffic calming measures due to frequent speeding problems.

“I’m not kidding ya, there must be people driving 50 (mph) up near my house. It’s a nightmare,” said Patrick Gravit, who has lived on Esfera Street for the past 24 years.

If the ordinances receive final approval at the Feb. 12 City Council meeting, the CRTMP will install two additional stop signs on Magnolia Avenue between Highland Drive and Pio Pico Drive, two stop signs on Esfera Street between Cadencia Street to Piragua Street, and seven new stop signs on Levante Street between Escencio Terrace and La Costa Avenue.

All of the selected streets have speed limits of 25 miles per hour but typically have cars speeding at an average of 32 mph, according to the CRTMP’s findings.

Taking into consideration input from residents on those streets, the CRTMP determined that stop signs would be the most effective traffic calming measure on these streets, as opposed to speed cushions, speed tables and narrowing lanes.

“We worked with the residents on each of the streets to develop the best solutions to achieve the desired results for the neighborhood. We received feedback from residents and did field observations on two previous traffic calming pilot projects that allowed us to provide input to the residents of Magnolia, Esfera, and Levante,” said Bryan Jones, Carlsbad’s deputy transportation director and leader of the CRTMP.

Council members and a couple of public speakers questioned why the CRTMP chose to place so many stop signs on Levante Street, which already has five stop signs.

“That many stop signs to me, from a layman’s perspective, seems excessive,” said Councilmember Keith Blackburn.

Jones convinced Blackburn of his proposal by explaining that the suggested stop signs would be strategically placed to reduce the block lengths to 500 to 1,000 feet and therefore reduce speeding.

The majority of those who commented on the ordinances at the meeting supported the stop signs.

“Residents who live on Levante have asked for many years to please make our street safe,” said Kim Wolf. Living in her home on Levante Street since 2009, Wolf said she witnessed a car flip over onto her front yard one night because of speeding.

She also has posted a sign on her lawn that says, “We live here, please slow down.”

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