Some of the city's roadways will move a little faster by the end of this month, as speed limits officially increase on several area streets.
San Ramon's City Council voted to increase speed limits on 14 busy roads with the hope of improving traffic congestion. Signs will be changes and new speed limits enforced beginning Feb. 22, Transportation Services Manager Lisa Bobadilla said.
The new speed limit ordinance allows city officials to increase the speed limit from 25 mph on any roadway. According to California Vehicle Code, local authorities may issue an ordinance to increase prima facie speed limits beyond 25 mph if it would facilitate "the orderly movement of vehicular traffic and would be reasonable and safe upon any street."
A prima facie speed limit is one that "allows motorists to defend against a speeding charge if it can be proven that the speed was in fact reasonable and prudent." CVC states that local jurisdictions may declare a prima facie speed limit of 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, or 60 miles per hour or a maximum speed limit of 65 mph.
Although San Ramon's speed limit ordinance was updated in 2007 to account for new streets in the Dougherty Valley, a staff report by Transportation Specialist PJ Dhoot stated that approximately 25 percent of the city's roadway segments will be unenforceable by San Ramon Police radar by the SRPD. As a number of roadways do not meet the CVC criteria for establishing a valid prima facie speed limit, speed limits on those roadway segments cannot be enforced.
"Without an update to the Speed Limit Ordinance to reflect the changes in speed limits along San Ramon's transportation network… The resulting condition would reflect minimal police presence or speed enforcement," the report read. "Furthermore, if speed-related citations are issued using radar along these roadway segments, the accused may challenge the citation in Traffic Court and the citation will be dismissed."
The ordinance calls for changes increases in speed limit to between 30 and 50 mph on 41 roadways, with the greatest change in speed on Deerwood Drive between Bollinger Canyon Road and Deerwood Road (25 mph to 35 mph). On the basis of a an engineering and traffic investigation and after public hearing, city officials believe traffic congestion could be aided by the following changes:
Thirty miles per hour
*Lilac Ridge Road from North Gale Ridge Road to Shoreline Drive
Thirty-five miles per hour
* Albion Road from Bollinger Canyon Road to Windemere Parkway
*Alcosta Boulevard from Veracruz Drive to Fircrest Lane
* Deerwood Drive from Bollinger Canyon Road to Deerwood Road
*Ivy Leaf Springs Road from South Monarch Road to Stoneleaf Road
* Monarch Road from South Bollinger Canyon Road to Ivy Leaf Springs Road
*Wedgewood Drive from North Monarch Road to Stoneleaf Road
Forty miles per hour
* Deerwood Road from Crow Canyon Road to San Ramon Valley Boulevard
Forty-five miles per hour
*Bollinger Canyon Road from Canyon Lakes Drive to Dougherty Road
*Crow Canyon Road from the western city limit to Old Crow Canyon Road
*Crow Canyon Road from the eastern city limit
*San Ramon Valley Boulevard from Montevideo Drive to Alcosta Boulevard
*Windemere Parkway from Longleaf Circle to the eastern city limit
Fifty miles per hour
*Dougherty Road from Crow Canyon Road to Bollinger Canyon Road
Approximately 50 speed limit signs would be changed throughout the city to reflect speed adjustments at a cost of about $5,000; the funds are included in the city's Engineering and Transportation Planning budgets.