By Steve Dreyer
The City Council on Tuesday night approved a new city traffic study recommending that speed limits be decreased on five major Poway streets and increased on four others.
In each case, the adjustment will be for 5 mph.
Recent changes in state law affect the setting of speed limits, Senior Traffic Engineer Zoubir Ouadah wrote in his report. As a result, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, which contracts with the city for law enforcement services, requested that the city’s 2008 Engineering and Traffic Study be updated. New speed data was collected during August 2012, he said.
The speed limits on the following streets be decreased by 5 mph:
• Camino del Norte, from 55 to 50 mph
• Midland Road, between Aubrey and Edgemoor streets, from 30 to 25 mph;
• Oak Knoll Road, between Pomerado and Carriage roads, from 30 to 25 mph;
• Ted Williams Parkway, between the western city limits and Pomerado Road, from 55 to 50 mph.
Increases in the speed limit were approved for:
• High Valley Road, from 25 to 30 mph;
• Martincoit Road, from 30 to 35 mph;
• Old Coach Road, from 35 to 40 mph;
• Sycamore Canyon Road, from 35 to 40 mph.
Approval involved some interesting footwork on the part of the five council members, four of whom live within 500 feet of at least one of the affected streets. As a result, each of the four had to leave the council chambers and not vote on certain recommended speed changes. Only Councilman Dave Grosch voted on all recommendations.
Mayor Don Higginson guided the council through the process, reading from a script prepared by City Attorney Morgan Foley. At one point the script was turned over to Deputy Mayor John Mullin so that Higginson could leave the room.
In one case, where three of the impacted councilmembers lived nearby, they drew straws to see who could vote under what Foley termed the “rule of necessity.” Higginson drew the short straw and voted on the matter.