Monday, October 8, 2012

Council to set city speed limits more aligned with state standards

The Claremont City Council this Tuesday, October 9, will vote on proposed speed increases to 10 city streets at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council Chamber.
Speed limit changes are needed in order to comply with state standards, according to Loretta Mustafa, senior engineer with the city of Claremont, in a recent report. The state of California requires the speed limit on a street be as close as possible to the 85th percentile, or the speed that 85 percent of the traffic is actually driving either at or slightly below, regardless of the set speed limit. The Radar Speed Survey suggested that many of the city’s streets are not in compliance with current standards. As a result, speed citations have not been upheld in traffic court, according to Ms. Mustafa, who told commissioners that changes are need in order to enforce the law.  The update is needed to allow radar enforcement on these streets.
The increases received unanimous support from the Claremont Traffic and Transportation Commission in June.
“I don’t like increasing the speed limit in many of the areas being discussed. However, if the current limits are not enforceable in the courts then it is reasonable to me that we should align our speed limits to the standards set in order to make those limits enforceable,” said Commissioner Chuck Freitas at the June meeting.
Several residents have voiced concerns about the proposed increases, particularly those to streets like College Avenue between Arrow Highway and First Street—an area notoriously busy with school traffic and activity. While recognizing these concerns, Ms. Mustafa assured that laws regarding speed limits in school zones when children are present would still remain. Regardless of a designated speed limit, drivers will be required to drive 25 mph when children are going to or from school and during the noon recess, as mandated in the state law.
In addition to the proposed speed changes, the council will review an agreement for services from the Chamber of Commerce through 2014 and an amendment to its criteria and procedures regarding historical property contracts.
The Claremont City Council meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Claremont City Council Chamber, 225 W. Second St. View the meeting’s complete agenda at

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