Supervisors recertify speeds on Gopher Canyon, Brooke Road

 

Last updated 10/6/2006 at Noon



The San Diego County Board of Supervisors’ September 20 actions included recertification of the existing 45 mph speed limits on Gopher Canyon Road and Brooke Road for radar enforcement.

The Gopher Canyon Road speed limit covers a 1.8-mile segment between Spa Haven Way and East Vista Way. The Brooke Road speed limit is effective for 0.72 miles from Stage Coach Lane to Winterhaven Road. Both road segments required special findings to retain the existing speed limits for radar enforcement.

In order for a speed limit to be enforceable by radar, the speed limit must be set at the nearest 5 mph increment to the 85th percentile speed, although if special findings of conditions not apparent to the motorist are made the speed limit can be set at 5 mph lower than the prevailing flow of traffic speed. Periodic recertification for radar enforcement is required, and that process requires a new speed survey.

The 2006 speed survey on Gopher Canyon Road took place at a point 1,540 feet east of Fairview Drive. The 197 vehicles in the survey had an 85th percentile speed of 52.0 mph with 78.1 percent of drivers in the 44-53 mph pace.

Gopher Canyon Road, which varies between 27 and 42 feet in width during the designated segment, is classified as a collector on the county’s Circulation Element map. The road had a 50 mph speed limit until 1995, when the roadway was reviewed for a lower speed limit and radar enforcement. Although the 85th percentile speed at that time was 52.3 mph, the accident rate was significantly higher than the statewide average for similar type roads and the Traffic Advisory Committee, followed by the Board of Supervisors, made special findings to justify a reduction of the speed limit to 45 mph.


Between January 30, 2003, and January 30, 2006, the segment of road had 41 reported collisions. The accident rate is now lower than the statewide average, so when the Traffic Advisory Committee reviewed recertification on July 14 it found that the 1995 reduction in the speed limit has had a positive effect on operating conditions.

The 2006 speed survey on Brooke Road 70 feet south of Rancho Mia indicated an 85th percentile speed of 49.9 mph with 64.9 percent of drivers in the 39-48 mph pace. Three reported collisions took place along that segment between January 30, 2003, and January 30, 2006.

Brooke Road was an unposted roadway until the Traffic Advisory Committee reviewed the segment in 1999. Although an 85th percentile 51.5 mph at that time justified a 50 mph speed limit, the accident rate was significantly higher than the statewide average for similar roads and the TAC made special findings to allow for a 45 mph speed limit with radar enforcement.


The accident rate is now lower than the statewide average, and the current 10 mph pace indicates that reasonable and prudent motorists do not wish to drive at or above 50 mph. The adjacent Winterhaven Road segment to the south is posted at 45 mph and radar certified, so retaining the existing speed limit also ensures a consistent speed zone between Stage Coach Lane and Mission Road. The TAC made special findings July 14 that the lower speed limit has had a positive impact on operating conditions, and the supervisors ratified those findings.

 

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