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By Joe Naiman
Village News reporter 

TAC recommends 45 mph speed limit for all of Camino Del Rey

 

Last updated 12/23/2020 at 5:14pm



The county's Traffic Advisory Committee recommended that the entirety of Camino Del Rey have a 45 mph speed limit enforceable by radar.

The Dec. 11 TAC meeting identified three separate segments of Camino Del Rey, and three unanimous votes recommended lowering the speed limit on two of the segments while retaining the 45 mph speed limit between Via Maria Elena and 1,030 feet east of Mile Post 2.

If the San Diego Board of Supervisors members concur, the speed limit between State Route 76 and Via Maria Elena would be lowered from 50 mph to 45 mph and the unposted portion between 1,030 feet east of Mile Post 2 and Old Highway 395 would be lowered to 45 mph from the 55 mph speed currently allowed.

The proposed lower speed limits along with radar certification are expected to be considered by the county supervisors at their April 7, 2021, meeting.

"Enforcement wise it makes it easier," said Matt Wellhouse, who is the TAC's public member for the third and fifth supervisorial districts.

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. If speed surveys are taken at more than one location along a reviewed segment a "speed zone" for the entirety of the speed surveys can be used.

Camino Del Rey between Highway 76 and Via Maria Elena measures 1.71 miles. The striped two-lane roadway has a travel lane of 24 feet with the road bed width ranging from 28 to 52 feet. The segment includes a traffic signal at Camino De Las Brisas. The mobility element of the county's general plan classifies the westernmost segment of Camino Del Rey as a Boulevard/Light Collector.

A Feb. 13, 2020, traffic survey taken 1,000 feet east of Camino Del Cielo indicated a two-way average daily traffic volume of 6,512 vehicles. The previous traffic survey, taken in October 2012, had an average daily volume of 4,570 motorists.

During the 36-month period from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2020, Camino Del Rey between Highway 76 and Via Maria Elena had 19 reported collisions, including 12 which involved injury. The collision rate of 1.56 collisions per million vehicle miles exceeds the statewide average of 1.32 collisions for similar suburban conventional two-lane roads with speed limits between 45 mph and 55 mph.

Periodic recertification, including a supporting speed survey, is required for continued radar enforcement and the county's Department of Public Works or a DPW contractor typically conducts speed surveys every seven years.

In 2013, the only speed survey taken for that segment was conducted 1,000 feet east of Camino Del Cielo; the 85th percentile was 52.0 mph with 71.0% of the vehicles within a 10 mph pace of 31-40 mph.

Two speed surveys were conducted in 2020. The one 1,000 feet east of Camino Del Cielo took place on Feb. 20 and a speed survey 750 feet west of Via Maria Elena was conducted Oct. 8. The 100 vehicles 1,000 feet east of Camino Del Cielo had an 85th percentile speed of 43.0 mph with 58% within a 31-40 mph pace.

The speed survey 750 feet west of Via Maria Elena measured 159 vehicles with an 85th percentile of 54.4 mph and 66.0% within a 43-52 mph pace.

The two speed surveys created a speed zone of 48.7 mph and a pace of 37-46 mph which included 62.0% of the drivers. That would allow for the lowering of the speed limit. "We have an entire speed zone under 50," said TAC secretary Kenton Jones.

The segment of Camino Del Rey between Via Maria Elena and 1,030 feet east of Mile Post 2 (near Via Mariposa) is 1.09 miles. That part of the street is classified as a Light Collector on the mobility element. The travel width is 24 feet with the road bed width ranging from 28 to 38 feet.

A Feb. 13, 2020, traffic survey at the intersection of Via Margarita produced an average daily volume of 4,764 vehicles. Seven collisions, including three with at least one injury, were reported between April 1, 2017, and March 31, 2020, for a collision rate of 1.24 per million vehicle miles.

The statewide average for similar flat rural conventional two-lane roads with speed limits less than or equal to 55 mph is 0.84 collisions per million vehicle miles.

The speed survey on Feb. 20, 2020, was taken at Via Margarita. The 100 vehicles had an 85th percentile of 46.3 mph with 57.0% in a 32-41 mph pace.

If there is not a posted speed limit, by state law the maximum allowable speed for a two-lane highway is 55 mph. That is the current situation for the 2.1 miles of Camino Del Rey between 1,030 feet east of Mile Post 2 and Old Highway 395.

That two-lane striped roadway has a travel width of 24 feet and a road bed width ranging from 28 to 40 feet. Although there is no current formal speed limit the segment has multiple speed advisory signs for upcoming curves or other sharp turns.

The mobility element classifies that part of Camino Del Rey as a Light Collector. No 24-hour traffic survey was taken for that portion of Camino Del Rey, but the estimated two-way daily volume west of Via De La Reina is 4,760 vehicles.

The accident rate for Camino Del Rey between 1,030 feet east of Mile Post 2 and Old Highway 395 utilized a 36-month period from June 1, 2017, to May 30, 2020. The two collisions including one in which injury occurred create a rate of 0.18 per million vehicle miles. The segment is considered a flat rural conventional two-lane road, so the statewide average of 0.84 applies.

Both speed surveys within the speed zone allowed for a 45 mph speed limit even without the speed zone. The two speed surveys were taken on Nov. 10. The one 100 feet east of Camino De La Reina clocked 134 motorists with an 85th percentile speed of 49.7 mph and 91.0% in a 40-49 mph pace. The survey 1,500 feet west of Luis Rey Heights Road had 153 vehicles whose 85th percentile was 45.8 mph with 78.0% in a 37-46 mph pace. The speed zone 85th percentile was 47.8 mph, and 73.0% of the drivers were within a pace of 39-48 mph.

 

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