The Coast News Group

Speed limits could rise, fall on Encinitas streets

ENCINITAS — Speed limits could fall on four Encinitas streets and rise on three others as part of an agenda item the Encinitas Traffic and Public Safety Commission will consider July 10.

The changes in speed limit are the result of an engineering and traffic survey that the state requires the city to do in order to justify using radars to enforce speed limits on non-local streets. State law requires the speed studies be done once every five, seven or 10 years to justify the posted speed limits. 

Without an updated speed limit study, the city can’t use radar to enforce the speed limit and the street is designated a “speed trap” and the court can toss out speeding tickets as a result. 

The updated speed study looked at the 85th percentile of speeds along a number of streets through the city.

As a result, staff is proposing the following speed reductions:

• La Costa Coast Highway 101 to the eastern city limits reduced from 40 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour. 

• Quail Gardens between Leucadia and Encinitas boulevards from 40 mph to 35 mph.

• Saxony between Leucadia and Encinitas boulevards from 40 mph to 35 mph. 

• Via Molena between Via Cantebria and El Camino Real from 35 mph to 30 mph.

Speed limits, however, would rise along the following streets:

• El Camino Real between the north city limits to Gardenview Road from 45 mph to 50 mph.

• El Camino Real between Encinitas Boulevard to Santa Fe Drive from 40 mph to 45 mph.

• Requeza Street between Interstate 5 and Westlake Street from 25 mph to 30 mph.

The Traffic and Public Safety Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. July 10 at City Council Chambers, 505 S. Vulcan Avenue. 


Don July 8, 2017 at 9:41 am

How about just enforcing the law regarding texting while driving. That would save more lives and prevent more accidents than enforcing speed limits.

James C. Walker July 8, 2017 at 7:35 am

The federal Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) says speed limits should be within 5 mph of the actual 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic under good conditions. Example: If the slowest 85% of the drivers are at or below 47 mph, then the limit must be posted at 45 mph. Under the MUTCD it is wrong to post 40 because that would be 7 mph below the 85th percentile speed.

It all depends upon whether limits should be posted for safety per the MUTCD, or via the fear and superstition method that falsely says lower posted limits which do NOT lower the actual speeds are safer. But the fear and superstition method means cities cannot use radar, because the limits are improperly posted too low by the safety rules.

James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

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