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TAC recommends 35 mph speed limit for Old River Road

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

The county’s Traffic Advisory Committee has recommended a 35 mph speed limit for Old River Road between Camino Del Rey and Golf Club Drive.

A unanimous TAC vote recommended that a 35 mph speed limit be established for the 0.39-mile section and that the speed limit be certified for radar enforcement. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors must approve any regulatory change, and the speed limit is expected to be heard by the Board of Supervisors Jan. 11, 2023.

“It makes sense to set the limit at 35,” said Matt Wellhouser, who is the TAC 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. 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.

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.

Old River Road between Camino Del Rey and Golf Club Drive currently has no posted speed limit, although by state law the maximum speed for a two-lane road is 55 mph and the school zone by Bonsall Elementary School triggers a 25 mph speed limit when children are present. “It has escaped the speed limit ordinance over the years,” said TAC secretary Kenton Jones.

Camino Del Rey has a 45 mph speed limit. Camino Del Rey and Old River Road are connected at a “Y” intersection. “That’s one of the last Y’s in the County of San Diego,” Jones said.

Old River Road south of Golf Club Drive qualifies as a residential area with an automatic 25 mph speed limit. Although the segment between Camino Dey Rey and Golf Club Drive has no posted speed limit, that portion has curve speed advisory signs. Old River Road is a two-lane road with a 26-foot pavement width. The roadway is striped with a no passing centerline and white edge lines on both sides. The Mobility Element of the county’s general plan classifies Old River Road as a Light Collector.

A traffic survey 800 feet south of Camino Del Rey was taken April 19. The 1,491 southbound and 1,476 northbound vehicles produced an average daily traffic volume of 2,967 drivers. Between June 1, 2019, and May 31, 2022, the Old River Road between Camino Del Rey and Golf Club Drive had three reported collisions, none of which involved an injury. The collision rate of 2.37 collisions per million vehicle miles exceeds the statewide average of 1.60 per million vehicle miles for similar suburban conventional two-lane roads with speed limits less than 45 mph.

The collision rate higher than the statewide average was used for the recommendation to make the speed limit 35 mph rather than 40 mph. A speed survey taken 130 feet south of Avenida Del Las Vida had an 85th percentile of 40.8 mph with 68% of the 123 drivers within a 10 mph pace of 34-43 mph. The most common speeds were 35 mph with 14 drivers, 38 mph with 12 motorists, and 36 mph with 11 drivers. The fastest motorist was clocked at 50 mph while the slowest vehicle was traveling 23 mph.


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