City reverses course, no speed limit increases

ENCINITAS — Encinitas has changed course on proposed speed limit increases on three stretches of  local streets. 

The City Council at its Sept. 20 meeting approved decreasing speeds along four stretches of streets, including La Costa Avenue, Quail Gardens Drive, Saxony Road and Via Molena.

Originally, the proposal approved by the Traffic and Public Safety Commission in July included increasing the speed limit along two stretches of El Camino Real and a small stretch of Requeza Street between Interstate 5 and Westlake Street. 

But city staff during the two months between hearings re-studied speeds along El Camino Real and found the speeds on the street didn’t warrant an increase in the speed limit, Rob Blough, city traffic engineer, said. 

As for Requeza, staff recommended that the city designate the stretch proposed to increase from 25 mph to 30 mph a senior zone because of its proximity to a senior apartment complex. 

The City Council unanimously approved the proposed decreases and thanked Blough and staff for their thoughtfulness on the issue. 

The changes in speed limit are the result of an engineering and traffic survey that the state requires the city do in order to justify using radars to enforce speed limits on non-local streets. State law requires the speed studies done once every five, seven or 10 years to justify the posted speed limits. 

Without an updated speed limit study, the city can’t use radar to enforce the speed limit and the street is designated a “speed trap” and the court can toss out speeding tickets as a result. 

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