Fire Mountain residents push for street calming on Laurel Road

Fire Mountain residents push for street calming on Laurel Road
Fire Mountain homeowner Mike Moore stands by a radar speed sign recently put up on Laurel Road. Moore estimates drivers are traveling at 40 mph on the road with a 25 mph speed limit. Photo by Promise Yee

OCEANSIDE — Residents in the Fire Mountain neighborhood have collected 60 signatures requesting the city install street calming measures on Laurel Road.“There has been a tidal wave of support to stop excessive speeding,” Mike Moore, a homeowner in the Fire Mountain neighborhood, said.

Moore has met with Councilmen Jerry Kern and Gary Felien to discuss residents’ concerns.

He and fellow residents also have a meeting scheduled with Mayor Jim Wood and the city traffic engineer Sept 24.

Moore said residents’ concerns are a life and safety issue.

He said drivers use the narrow 2-mile winding road as a cut-through to state Route 78.

The posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour. Moore said cars are clocking through at much higher speeds. He estimates drivers are speeding through at more than 40 miles per hour.

Moore said there are habitual speeders who zoom down the road on a daily basis.

“They live in adjacent neighborhoods,” Moore said. “I can predict which vehicles will come by at what time of day.”

One frequent speeder was a motorcycle rider Moore said he flagged down and warned he was driving too fast.

The same motorcycle rider had a fatal crash on Laurel Road on Oct. 6, 2012. A resident was backing his pickup truck out of the driveway and the motorcycle rider, who Moore said was traveling at 50 miles an hour, crashed into the truck and died.

“We have seen one fatality,” Moore said. “We don’t want to see No. 2 happen here.”

Laurel Road is in a rural zone where there are no city sidewalks. House driveways spill onto the road where in some cases there are blind curves.

“People are afraid to pull out of their driveways,” Moore said. “They do not feel safe jogging or walking. Safety is the paramount concern.”

Moore said from 4 to 6 p.m. a heavy stream of vehicles speed down the street at the same time a lot of pedestrians are walking and jogging.

“The road is congested with speeders and pedestrians,” Moore said. “It’s a toxic mix.”

Moore said residents want the city to conduct a traffic safety study and follow up with city recommendations on how to calm traffic on the road.

“There is no question the issue is getting worse and the volume and speed of traffic is getting worse,” Moore said. “I’m confident a traffic study will come to the same conclusion.”

Things are progressing.

The city assigned a police officer to monitor drivers’ speeds with a traffic radar gun and ticket any offenders.

City Manager Peter Weiss said no speeding tickets were issued.

A radar speed sign was also put up.

Weiss said people’s perception of speed is often different than the actual rate of speed a vehicle is traveling.

He added if the problem is a habitual speeder some driver’s education is needed.

“Two tickets and the problem usually resolves itself,” Weiss said.

 

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