Solana Beach City Council agrees to reduce speed limit along Highway 101

Solana Beach City Council members decided to slow things down in Solana Beach, voting unanimously at the Oct. 22 meeting to reduce the speed limit along Highway 101.

The move to reduce the speed limit from 45 mph to 35 mph and 40 mph is the result of a speed survey conducted in conformance with the California Vehicle Code, which requires surveys every five years, or after significant changes to the city’s roadways. Because the renovation of Highway 101 was completed after the last citywide survey was conducted in 2009, the city updated its traffic survey for that and other segments in Solana Beach.

The speed limit is currently 45 mph along Highway 101. According to the survey, which was conducted by Darnell & Associates, the roadway, median, striping and crosswalk improvements, have reduced highway speeds. Therefore, the report recommended the city reduce the speed limit from 45 mph to 35 mph along Highway 101 from the city limit to Cliff Street, Cliff Street to Lomas Santa Fe Drive, and Lomas Santa Fe Drive to Dahlia Drive. The speed limit will also be reduced from 45 mph to 40 mph from Dahlia Drive to Via de la Valle.

“[The project] was very successful,” said City Manager David Ott. “You have not only lowered the speed limit in the core where the work was done, you actually lowered the speed limit the whole length, which is great.”

The survey also looked at Highway Drive between San Lucas and the northeast city boundary, as well as Stevens and Valley avenues between Via de la Valle and Nardo Avenue, and found that the posted speed limits for those segments should remain the same.

With the council’s vote, the speed survey was also extended another three years.

“When we started out to do the Highway 101 project, we had specific goals in mind — to increase parking, make it more bicycle-pedestrian friendly and make it more business friendly,” Councilman Mike Nichols said. “Another big goal was to reduce speeds. As a result of the project, we were able to reduce speeds 10 mph and achieved it with all these other goals. It’s a great thing.”