Homeowners are taking on Caltrans in a speed limit debate involving two dangerous streets marking the main entrance and exit to and from Coronado.
Caltrans plans to increase the speed limit from 25 mph to 30 mph along several city blocks of 3rd and 4th streets which run west of the San Diego Bay Bridge and east of Orange Avenue as part of State Route 75.
Upset homeowners showed up at Coronado’s Monday night city council meeting to voice their concern.
“This whole notion of increasing the speed is absurd” said Quelene Slattery, a Coronado homeowner.
Slattery’s son, Frankie was nearly killed when he was hit by a car on April 21st, 2014 while crossing 4th Avenue.
The 16 year old suffered a traumatic brain injury prompting his mom to become a vocal advocate for safer roads along the busy corridor.
Locals say crashes happen all the time, including the fatal collision involving an elderly man who was killed while trying to cross 4th Street on May 11.
“Between my son’s injury and this man’s death, hopefully people can come together and do what is right for the whole community” said Slattery.
The Coronado City Council opposes any increase to the speed limit, but the decision ultimately rests with Caltrans.
Caltrans says a 5 mph increase to the speed limit is necessary given the results of a recent speed survey which found an overwhelming majority of drivers averaging close to 10 mph faster than the current limit.
Many Coronado homeowners worry an increase in the speed limit will only make people drive faster, but Caltrans says their studies don’t support that conclusion.
“Increasing the speed limit is not going to change the actual speed limit the public is driving” said Marcelo Peinado, a Caltrans District Division Chief in Traffic Operations.
Coronado’s Police Chief understands the community concern, but cautioned locals to keep their passion in perspective.
“In most communities, I think most people would want their speed limits to be 25mph on every street, but speed surveys try to equalize that a little bit to make it more scientific or fair,” said Chief Jon Froomin.
Public speakers at Monday’s council meeting blasted the police department for failing to cite speeders in the area.
In fiscal year 2014, Froomin said his officers wrote roughly 400 speeding citations on the two streets.
But, when the previous speed survey for the cooridor expired in January, the department was no longer able to use electronic surveillance as a tactic.
“We cannot legally use Lidar and radar in those areas where a survey is not in place” said Froomin.