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Speed limit gets lowered on 101 in Solana Beach

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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norman October 31, 2014 at 8:34 pm

This should help cut down on auto and pedestrian accidents, but won’t do much to ease traffic congestion. However, safety trumps traffic, always.

John November 10, 2014 at 9:10 am

Born and raised in Solana Beach… I really am disgusted with the “upgrades” done on the 101. Seriously, I feel that traffic and safety were much better before. Bikes are now subject to lane sharing, as well as people BACKING out of parking spots along the 101. I don’t bike, but I get nervous driving through Solana now. The added parking spots are ridiculous, I don’t remember there ever being a problem before. They spent all this money putting in traffic signals. What a bummer. Just 10 years ago you could bike and drive through without any issues. I realize the population has exploded recently, but still… Talk about a step in the wrong direction!

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