The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors recently passed a measure to reduce speed limits on Camino del Sur, Camino Pescadero and Camino Corto by five miles per hour, due to heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
The speed limit on Camino Corto from El Colegio Road to Estero Road will be 30 mph, while the speed limit from Estero to Del Playa Drive will be 25 mph. Camino Pescadero and Camino del Sur will be reduced to 25 mph.
The speed limit on all three streets is currently 35 mph, but a survey conducted by the Pubic Works Dept. recorded 85percent of the drivers on Camino Pescadero and Camino del Sur travel 32 mph, while the same percentage travel 39 mph on Camino Corto.
The measure – which was passed on Nov.13 – will change the speed limits within one month, said Mark Chaconas, 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall’s assistant.
“All the streets that go from east to west in I.V. already have a speed limit of 25 miles per hour,” he said. “Some of the streets where this new measure has been implemented are residential or business districts anyway, meaning that the speed limit there should be 25 miles per hour.”
The county was able to lower the speed limits based on Assembly Bill 2767, which allows public works departments to lower speed limits by five mph in residential areas that have heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
Bert Johnson, engineering and technical specialist for the county’s Public Works Dept., said the traffic survey is conducted every 10 years.
“These three streets were subject to the survey since the 10-year time had expired,” Johnson said. “The law says that speed limits can be lowered from the recorded 85percent figure if there is residential density in the targeted area. Residential density is defined as 16 or more homes or businesses within a quarter-mile area.”
The ways in which I.V. streets are patrolled for speeding will not change as a result of this law, California Highway Patrol Officer Dana Smith said.
“Currently, the CHP and the county sheriff share jurisdiction over I.V. We do not use radar to check for speeding, except on El Colegio Road. Speeding is a problem in I.V., but radar is not feasible because of the large amount of pedestrian traffic,” Smith said. “We have not developed a plan to enforce the new speed limits. Our main agenda is to prevent pedestrian accidents.”