Tuesday, September 23, 2014 • 05:36
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TAC recommends radar recertification for Paradise Mountain Road


March 26, 2014
The county's Traffic Advisory Committee recommended that a 2.8-mile segment of Paradise Mountain Road be recertified for radar enforcement.

If the San Diego County Board of Supervisors ratifies the TAC recommendation, radar enforcement could continue to be used for the 45 mph speed limit between North Lake Wohlford Road and the end of the county-maintained segment.

In order for a speed limit to be enforceable by radar, a speed survey must show that the speed limit is within an adjacent 5 mph increment to the 85th percentile speed.

The speed limit can be reduced by an additional 5 mph if findings of special circumstances not apparent to a typical motorist are made. This was not the case for Paradise Mountain Road, and radar enforcement for an automatic speed limit such as a school zone or residential zone does not require a speed survey. Periodic recertification, along with a supporting speed survey, is required for continued radar enforcement. The county's Department of Public Works or DPW contractors perform speed surveys every seven years on road segments which have been certified for radar enforcement.

Paradise Mountain Road is a two-lane roadway which varies in width from 24 to 45 feet. Edge striping is along both sides of the roadway, which is classified as a light collector under the Mobility Element of the county's general plan. A February 2013 traffic survey taken west of Paradise Mountain Lane indicated a two-way average daily volume of 2,250 vehicles.

The October 2007 traffic survey at that location resulted in an average volume of 3,800 vehicles while a September 1985 traffic survey east of North Lake Wohlford Road produced an average volume of 1,460 vehicles. During the 58-month period from January 1, 2009, to October 31, 2013, a total of 16 collisions were reported along Paradise Mountain Road between North Lake Wohlford Road and the end of the county-maintained portion.

The speed surveys were taken 450 feet west of Paradise Mountain Lane. The 2007 speed survey produced an 85th percentile speed of 45.9 mph with 64.3 percent of drivers traveling with a 10 mph pace of 37-46 mph. National Data and Surveying Services conducted a speed survey on January 21, 2014, which lasted from 9:10 a.m. to 11:10 a.m. and measured the speeds of the 207 vehicles which crossed the survey point during those two hours.

The 85th percentile speed was 43.0 mph with 63.0 percent of the drivers within a 33-42 mph pace. The most common speed, with 18 drivers, was 36 mph while 17 drivers were traveling at 37 mph and 16 motorists apiece had speeds of 35 mph and 41 mph. The fastest driver crossed the survey point at 49 mph while two vehicles at 23 mph were the slowest.

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