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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

TAC recommends 45 mph speed limit and radar enforcement for all of Gird Road


Last updated 2/2/2018 at 5:12pm

The county's Traffic Advisory Committee recommended that all of Gird Road have a 45 mph speed limit and that the speed limit be certified for radar enforcement.

The unanimous decision at the Jan. 26 TAC meeting sends the recommendation to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, who are scheduled to consider a first reading and introduction of the ordinance March 28. If a second reading and adoption is approved April 18 enforcement could begin May 18.

"Hopefully it will support traffic safety," said TAC secretary Kenton Jones.

In order for a speed limit to be enforceable by radar, a speed survey must show that the speed limit is within an adjacent 5 mph increment to the 85th percentile speed. The speed limit may be rounded either up or down from the 85th percentile speed. The speed limit may also be rounded down an additional 5 mph if findings are made that the road has conditions which would not be apparent to a motorist unfamiliar with the road. Accident rates higher than the statewide average were the findings which allowed for the recommended 45 mph speed limit both from State Route 76 to 1,000 feet south of Oak Cliff Drive and from 1,000 feet south of Oak Cliff Drive to Reche Road.

"Both segments have accident rates higher than the statewide average," Jones said.

Currently the 1.26-mile segment from Highway 76 to 1,000 feet south of Oak Cliff Drive has a posted speed limit of 50 mph while the 2.35-mile portion from 1,000 feet south of Oak Cliff Drive to Reche Road has a posted 45 mph speed limit. Neither of those speed limits have previously been certified for radar enforcement.

Gird Road is classified as a Light Collector on the mobility element of the county's general plan. The street ranges in width from 32 to 45 feet, has a striped centerline, and has signals at State Route 76 and at Reche Road. A traffic survey was taken on September 8, 2016, 150 feet south of Via Loma with 1,878 northbound and 1,819 southbound vehicles creating a two-way average daily volume of 3,697 motorists.

The traffic survey was taken after the closure of the Fallbrook Golf Club, and the accident rate was based on a twelve-month period from June 1, 2016, to May 31, 2017. "There have been some changes over the years," said Don Hollywood, who represented the California Highway Patrol's Oceanside office at the TAC meeting.

The four reported collisions between State Route 76 and 1,000 feet south of Oak Cliff Drive created a collision rate of 2.36 per million vehicle miles. Six collisions during that period, including three which involved injury, occurred between 1,000 feet south of Oak Cliff Drive and Reche Road for a collision rate of 1.90 per million vehicle miles. The statewide average for similar suburban two-lane roads with speed limits between 45 mph and 55 mph is 1.32 per million vehicle miles.

"The accident rate is the strongest factor to be considered," said county traffic engineer Zoubir Ouadah.

The county's Department of Public Works conducted speed surveys on Dec. 6, 2017. A speed survey 4,000 feet south of Reche Road was taken between 9:20 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and measured the speeds of 114 vehicles which had an 85th percentile speed of 50.5 mph with 75.0 of the drivers within a 10 mph pace of 42-51 mph. The most common speeds were 44 mph with 17 drivers and 46 mph with 15 vehicles. A motorist at 30 mph was the slowest followed by a driver who crossed the survey point at 37 mph, and the fastest driver was traveling at 56 mph.

The speed survey 2,700 feet south of Oak Cliff Drive was conducted between 10:05 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. The 120 drivers had an 85th percentile speed of 51.8 mph with 65.0 percent in the 10 mph pace of 42-51 mph. Thirteen drivers made 51 mph the most common speed while ten vehicles apiece were traveling at 44 mph and 45 mph. The fastest vehicle was measured at 58 mph while the slowest driver traveled at 34 mph.

The Bonsall Unified School District is finalizing the Environmental Impact Report for a proposed high school near the southern end of Gird Road. If the school is built the area around the school would become a school zone with an automatic 25 mph speed limit; no TAC or Board of Supervisors approval would be necessary to create the school zone and 25 mph speed limit.

Periodic recertification, including a supporting speed survey, is required for continued radar enforcement and DPW or a DPW contractor typically conducts speed surveys every seven years; should the school be built prior to 2025 if DPW's traffic engineering division notices significantly increased traffic (the San Diego Association of Governments' trip generation table indicates that a high school adds 1.3 average daily trips per student, and since the rate is higher for middle schools and elementary schools where parents drop off and pick up their children state law changes regarding teenage drivers could increase that rate) a DPW recommendation could be made to the TAC for review of the speed limit sooner.


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