Speed limit gets lowered on 101 in Solana Beach

Speed limit gets lowered on 101 in Solana Beach
Signs indicating lower speeds along the entire stretch of Coast Highway 101 in Solana Beach are already installed, even though a recent change authorized by City Council doesn’t take effect until mid-November. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

SOLANA BEACH — Traveling through Solana Beach on Coast Highway 101 will take a little longer after a unanimous decision at the Oct. 22 meeting to lower the speed limit, in most places by 10 mph, along a nearly two-mile stretch of the roadway.

Council members agreed to reduce the speed limit in both directions from 45 mph to 35 mph from the north city limit to Dahlia Drive and from 45 mph to 40 mph from Dahlia to Via de la Valle.

Cities are required by the California Vehicle Code to conduct traffic surveys every five years — although that time can be extended — or when significant changes have been made to a roadway.

Most streets in Solana Beach have not changed since the city last conducted a speed survey in 2009. However, major upgrades along Coast Highway 101 were completed last year as part of a project to redevelop the west side of the roadway.

But improving the look of the highway wasn’t the only goal of the project. City officials sought to make the thoroughfare more pedestrian and bike friendly and to slow cars.

“It’s a great thing,” Councilman Mike Nichols said.

Although the ordinance doesn’t take effect until Nov. 22, signs indicating the reduced speed limits were in place by Oct. 23, a day after the meeting during which they were lowered.

Lane striping and other improvements were made on Highland Drive between San Lucas Drive and the northeast city boundary and on Stevens and Valley avenues between Via de la Valle and Nardo Avenue.

A new survey of those streets indicated speeds remained the same so no changes were made.

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