Committee recommends Bear Valley Parkway speed limit increase

ESCONDIDO — The county’s Traffic Advisory Committee has recommended that the speed limit along Bear Valley Parkway between State Route 78 and the Escondido city limit be increased to 50 mph.

The TAC’s unanimous Oct. 27 recommendation is subject to San Diego County Board of Supervisors approval. A first reading and introduction of the ordinances for the radar-enforceable speed limit and all-way stop control is scheduled for the Jan. 10, 2018, Board of Supervisors meeting. The second reading and adoption will likely take place Jan. 24, 2018, in which case the speed limit and stop requirement will become enforceable Feb. 23, 2018, although the county’s Department of Public Works may post signage earlier.

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.

Bear Valley Parkway between State Route 78 and the Escondido city limit near Boyle Avenue measures 0.93 miles. A 40 mph speed limit was established in 1977, but recent road improvements have created a four-lane roadway ranging in width from 91 to 101 feet and the Department of Public Works conducted a review of whether the reconstructed road might support a 50 mph speed limit.

A March 7 traffic survey conducted on Bear Valley Parkway north of State Route 78 indicated a daily volume of 9,569 southbound and 9,283 northbound vehicles. National Data and Surveying Services conducted two March 9 speed surveys on Bear Valley Parkway. The survey 1,100 feet south of Idaho Avenue was taken between 9 and 11 a.m. and measured the speeds of 277 vehicles which had an 85th percentile speed of 55 mph with 74.0 percent of the drivers within a 10 mph pace of 46-55 mph. Thirty of those vehicles made 50 mph the most common speed with 28 vehicles apiece traveling 48 mph and 49 mph. The speed survey 1,200 feet north of Idaho Avenue was conducted between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and the 404 vehicles had an 85th percentile speed of 54.0 mph with 77.0 percent of the vehicles within a 45-54 mph pace. The most common speeds were 49 mph with 57 vehicles and 50 mph with 53 drivers.

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