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Cirby Way speed limit to increase to 40 mph

By: Megan Wood The Press Tribune
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For motorists along Cirby Way, the morning and evening commutes will soon be a little faster. Though not in effect until March 22, when new signage will indicate the change, the new speed limit along Cirby Way between Riverside Avenue and Foothills Boulevard will be increased to 40 mph. Last summer’s improvements to the Cirby Way corridor made it necessary for the Public Works department to revisit and revise the current 35 mph speed limit. The ordinance was brought to council at Wednesday night’s meeting where the proposed increase was approved with a 4-0 vote. Mayor Gina Garbolino was absent from the meeting. “The California Vehicle Code requires us to conduct speed surveys yearly,” said Jana Cervantes, associate engineer with Roseville’s Public Works Department. “Speed limits expire every five to 10 years or if there has been major construction.” Last October public works staff conducted 11 surveys on major roadways in Roseville including Antelope Creek Drive near the Galleria mall, Pleasant Grove Boulevard and Cirby Way. The surveys measure the speed at which 85 percent of the traffic is traveling, at or below and takes into consideration factors such as bike lanes, driveways and residential property that would affect the safest speed of travel. Of the 11 roadways surveyed only Cirby Way between Riverside Avenue and Foothills Boulevard showed a need to increase the posted speed limit. None of the roadways surveyed showed a need for a decrease in speed limit. “I think 35 is fast enough, it should actually be slower,” said Yuba City resident Harlan Johnson, who comes to Roseville frequently with his wife for errands. “I’m getting older, I want everything slow. I’m in no hurry.” Last year’s improvement project on Cirby Way added dual right-hand turn lanes at Riverside Avenue and dual left turn lanes at Vernon Street, Foothills Boulevard and Melody Lane in addition to widening the roadways to allow for greater capacity, said Public Works Director Rob Jensen. “What we found on Cirby was that, after the improvement project from last year, traffic flowed more smoothly through that corridor,” Cervantes said. “Eighty-five percent of the traffic was moving at a speed of 45, but because of the conditions of the corridor we were able to drop it down to 40.” The reasons for dropping the speed limit the additional 5 mph were for conditions such as a bike lane, several driveways leading to shopping centers and businesses, as well as residential areas and the number of traffic collisions in the area. Benny Hassanzdeh said he sees drivers speeding past his workplace at Mr.Subs on Cirby Way just before Foothills Boulevard. “I think they already go so fast,” said Hassanzdeh, who remembers last year’s speed traps and seeing several drivers get pulled over for speeding. “At least if they increase the speed, that takes away the tickets, but I think it needs to be slower.” Roseville Police Spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther said that between July 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009 law enforcement officials issued 359 speeding tickets on Cirby Way between Riverside Avenue and Foothills Boulevard. Traffic Sargeant Marc Glynn said most citations were issued for speeds of 49 mph or higher. “They would still be in violation of the new increased speed limit,” Gunther said. Roseville resident Preston Wayne Finney said he is glad to see the speed limit changed to 40 because “35 mph is a crawl,” he said. “For the amount of traffic that is out there, 35 is just too slow,” Finney said. “Most streets around Roseville are 45 mph, I’d like to see that out here, but I think because of all the businesses they won’t do that.” Megan Wood can be reached at meganw@goldcountrymedia.com