News

Traffic team returns to Palo Alto streets

Police Department brings back traffic-focused unit

Responding to resident concerns about speeding cars and reckless drivers, the Palo Alto Police Department has brought back its traffic team, a police unit that will be dedicated to traffic enforcement, the department announced Wednesday.

The team, which consists of a motorcycle and a patrol unit, began its specialized traffic-focused assignment this week, according to the department's announcement. Once a department staple, the traffic team was disbanded about three years ago as the department dealt with vacancies and recruiting difficulties.

Those staffing challenges remain, with about 14 of the 83 full-time positions in the department currently vacant, according to a Human Resources Department report. Over the past two years, Palo Alto lost 11 officers to other departments, with five leaving for the city of Santa Clara, which had recently increased its department, according to the report.

The high number of vacancies has forced the department to depend more on overtime and to freeze certain specialty assignments to ensure enough coverage of essential services, according to the report. Responding to the recruiting difficulties, the City Council voted on June 25 to raise salaries for all positions in the Police Department by 5 percent, effective immediately.

The council approved the raises without discussion or debate; only Councilman Greg Tanaka, the sole dissenter, made a comment.

Tanaka, who routinely votes against items that include significant expenditures, said that while he supports raising police compensation to make the department more competitive when it comes to hiring, a 5 percent raise is too high, particularly given the city's ongoing effort to cut $4 million from its 2019 budget to address rising pension costs.

He said he would rather see the city give larger hiring bonuses to recruits to help Chief Robert Jonsen get the staff he needs.

"If we're trying to cut $4 million and trying to chip away at the pension liability, we're going in the wrong direction," Tanaka said.

Despite the staffing challenges, Jonsen decided earlier this year to "unfreeze" the traffic team, which will focus on "apprehending speeders and other traffic violators, patrolling school zones, and ensuring that oversized commercial vehicles use permitted routes," according to the department's announcement.

Jonsen said his decision was influenced by recent community meetings, where residents have cited traffic safety as a top concern.

"We heard the public loud and clear," Jonsen said in the news release. "Their number one complaint when it comes to public safety in Palo Alto is traffic. We want to be accountable and show our residents we are doing as much as we can to make the roads safer."

The department's revived traffic unit remains far smaller than it was in 2000, when it consisted of seven officers. The number gradually plummeted to two by 2012, thanks to budget cuts. In 2016, the unit was disbanded and traffic enforcement was assigned to patrol officers.

The newly reconstituted traffic team will also be patrolling parts of the city that have recently undergone roadway modifications, according to the news release.

The change, which Jonsen announced at a community meeting in March, won plaudits from several members of the City Council. During a May review of the department budget, just before the Finance Committee voted to approve the budget, Vice Mayor Eric Filseth lauded Jonsen's decision to bring the traffic team back.

"I think a lot of people would be happy with increased focus on traffic enforcement," Filseth said.

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Comments

14 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 11, 2018 at 11:53 am

With the high volume of traffic, it's hard to believe that any increased traffic enforcement will have any effect on the problems that we are all experiencing because of the large number of businesses in Palo Alto. Palo Alto's 25-mile an hour speed limits, incredible number of stop signs and increased use of "road diets" combine to drive motorists crazy.

The City releases data for its traffic stops, which includes the number of citations and warnings issued. It seems that the Police only issue about one ticket for every two stops. Not at all clear if this is the best use of the existing traffic enforcement officer's time.

Without any on-going traffic measurement program, it will be difficult to determine the effects of any increased traffic enforcement--even though it might make some people feel better seeing speeders being pulled over.


34 people like this
Posted by parent
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 11, 2018 at 11:57 am

Speeding drivers are taking over our neighborhoods. Speeds have gotten way to high on Middlefield and Embarcadero and Charleston, which is really endangering kids trying to walk or bike to school. Encouraging parents to drive them instead just adds to the congestion. I hope this increased speed limit enforcement continues through the school year.


6 people like this
Posted by Tickets cs warnings
a resident of Meadow Park
on Jul 11, 2018 at 12:13 pm

In general, I don’t know, but for me a warning can as effective as a ticket because a ticket paid is done. A warning has a longer lasting place in my consciousness.

But surely ticket-associated paperwork keeps police off the streets and reduces their overall impact. How much? No clue.


26 people like this
Posted by LLLLOCK 'EM UP!
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 11, 2018 at 12:20 pm

The song is over and the piper is calling for his due...pay the man.


26 people like this
Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jul 11, 2018 at 12:22 pm

Instead of Road Diets on main arteries in an out of the city. Why not widen some lanes Oregon and PageMill should be 6 lanes and have some removed.

Arastradero/Charleston lane reduction has been a complete Abortion. It should go back to four lanes

Alma should be widened to allow for a center turn/ merge lane the entire length

Make the main roads operate smoothly and most people will stop cutting through the side streets .

Spent most my life in Palo Alto. But glad I got out. You residents really need to get active and reign your city govt.


7 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 11, 2018 at 1:07 pm

> Why not widen some lanes Oregon and PageMill should be 6 lanes and have some removed.

Back in 1963 the question of whether to create a six-lane road was put on the ballot. It was, needless to say, quite controversial at the time. It barely passed, with perhaps fewer than a thousand votes on the winning side. The space for all of the lanes was taken (a little over 90 homes), but the politics of the time reduced the number of lanes to the present number.

> Arastradero/Charleston lane reduction has been a complete Abortion.

It would be interesting if this were put on the ballot to see what the residents think of this lane reduction project.


> Alma should be widened to allow for a center turn/ merge lane the entire length

Probably easier said than done, since there is not that much space on either side of the road for expansion.

> Make the main roads operate smoothly and most people will stop cutting through the side streets .

This issue of “cut through” traffic has been the topic of discussion for a long time now. Some years back, the Traffic Official wanted to install roundabouts all over town. In addition, to make the roundabouts work, he wanted to reduce the number of lanes to one in each director—typically down from two. It became clear that traffic being delayed on the streets with the roundabouts would find ways to avoid the slowdown by driving into the neighborhoods. The Traffic Official pretty much ignored this possibility and the resident's concerns about it. Seems the residents were right when they voiced their concerns back then


26 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm

There are some bad drivers around town and I hope that this improves the quality of driving for those who have bad habits.

I hope that tickets are given to those on bikes who also disobey the law. We have many adult bikers who routinely disobey traffic laws and many teens and younger bikers who see the adult bikers getting away with it and copying them.


29 people like this
Posted by @Resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 11, 2018 at 3:30 pm

It looks like cars will be the focus as cars were the source of the complaint filed with the police:
"Responding to resident concerns about speeding cars and reckless drivers,..."

That said, if a cop is watching a stop sign and a bike blasts through, he'll get lit up, but it looks like speeders are the main focus. Rightly so IMO. That's where death, injury and property damage happens in most all cases.


34 people like this
Posted by Lazlo
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2018 at 4:10 pm

The City of Palo Alto is a terrible place to work as a city employee and it is no wonder so many employee vacancies exist. Having a City Manager and City Council discourage future recruits from city employment by telling them they are a liability instead of valued team members has not only consequences of low moral but low recruitment. City Manager Keene has built a incredibly extensive management "team" with no leadership skills and that is fiscally unsustainable and will cost taxpayers millions in salary and retirement benefits. Meanwhile, our City Council sits by wringing their hands and holding their heads claiming ignorance. What a pity!


32 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 11, 2018 at 4:26 pm

If we're gonna have more cops please bulldoze all the bollards and reverse every traffic calming change, expand the lanes and then post cops at various intersections to intimidate drivers into driving the speed limit.
That's what you see in every other town in the USA and it works like a charm.


12 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 11, 2018 at 9:28 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Let's hope that these traffic police have more say in what's contributing to accidents that those previously who routinely said, "Oh yes. We know that's a problem and we've tried to tell public works or Transportation etc. but they don't want our input."

Yes, maybe now we can stop the city from planting bollards and giant Botts dots everywhere.


13 people like this
Posted by John Caruso
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 12, 2018 at 10:05 am

I and many friends have seen a positive shift in the Palo Alto Police department and I and many friends believe that we should all support our Police and Fire departments for they are putting their lives on the line for us all each and everyday and the council does not do enough to support them. Their is only one officer who lives in our city and thats because he bought in 1979 and that is a shame, no officer or fireman should have to drive hours into work just to support all of the wealthy people who live here without support, lets all try and treat others as we would like to be treated and lets support fair housing and equal pay to those who work in the surrounding areas. Please help the ones who put theirs lives on the line each day.


41 people like this
Posted by Road Blamers
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 12, 2018 at 10:13 am

The problem is an issue with some people's efforts to modulate the movement of their right foot when in the car.


20 people like this
Posted by 55 Yr. Res.
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 12, 2018 at 11:07 am

Hopefully something will be done about the speeding that occurs on the 4 lane portions of South Palo! I do drive @ the posted 25 and am 9 times out 0f 10 passed by drivers flying by. I do get a chuckle when we both end up at a stop light further on! Please, please slow drivers down officers! This is a residential/business corridor and something needs to be done.


15 people like this
Posted by k-dizzle
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Why are we not seeing more automation/technology deployed to deter unsafe driving and enforce existing laws? This requires zero new staff and can pay for itself through fines if done efficiently.

-Speed cameras along University Ave, Middlefield Rd, Alma, Oregon, Embarcadero, El Camino
-License plate scanning technology to enforce parking restrictions in CBD during business hours and neighborhood streets overnight

Bonus: if done correctly, the tech will be a net revenue gain from fines/tickets. It will also deter crime without sacrificing privacy (if limited to main arterial roads only, not side-streets).

I do welcome traffic team returning to our streets.


2 people like this
Posted by Apricot Mafia
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 12, 2018 at 1:41 pm

Yes, speed cameras would be a great help in reigning in these reckless drivers, but I'm not sure of their legalities.


2 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2018 at 2:04 pm

I don't see that much speeding on El Camino, Charleston/Arastradero, or Oregon. Traffic is usually too heavy for that. What I see all the time is a steady stream of cut-through commuters on residential streets going 30 when they should be going 20, 40-45 when they should be going 25, and never, ever, stopping at stop signs when making right turns as they speed through other people's neighborhoods. They don't slow down for anybody or anything that is smaller than they are, pedestrian, bicyclist, or smaller car.

The Traffic Team should be able to generate a large revenue stream just by staking out all the available cut-through-the-neighborhood routes in the city and ticket everybody doing 10-20 MPH over the limit.


3 people like this
Posted by Barbara
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 12, 2018 at 2:16 pm

Gee, I wonder if the Traffic Team is going to do anything about the pedestrians that mosey across downtown streets against the red signals?? Talk about a jam-up!! Is this only in techie Palo Alto??


14 people like this
Posted by margaret heath
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 12, 2018 at 2:46 pm

There needs to be some visible traffic enforcement at the two intersections on El Camino at Embarcadero and Page Mill for the left turning traffic lanes.

At the Embarcadero intersection there almost always seems to be a handful of cars that keep turning left after their light has changed to red. They then get stuck in the intersection blocking the northbound lanes who already have a green light.

At the Page Mill intersection cars often run the left turn signal onto Oregon after it has turned red, but there is enough capacity on Page Mill/Oregon that they don't block the intersection.

Regular users of these intersections have clearly noticed that there hasn't been any enforcement for years and they feel free to run the red light. Perhaps with visible traffic enforcement drivers will see that they are now taking a risk they will get ticketed and fined.


13 people like this
Posted by Charlie
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 12, 2018 at 3:46 pm

I second Margaret's suggestion about greater police presence at the El Camino and Embarcadero Road intersection. We have many pedestrians and bikes who use cross there to get to Town & Country or Paly High, and it can be quite dangerous. Invariably cars run the red lights and one would be foolish to go when their light turns green as there is usually still someone racing through. The selfishness of drivers who cross El Camino and then hang out in the street blocking the cars that have patiently waited their turn to go just irks me.

Thank you Palo Alto police -- let's take back our streets and bring back civil drivers.


6 people like this
Posted by StarSpring
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 12, 2018 at 3:59 pm

StarSpring is a registered user.

1) Palo Alto should match the posted speed limits in neighboring cities. Setting unreasonably low and unenforceable limits on through streets just encourages speeding and scoffing at law.

[Portion removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 12, 2018 at 4:23 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Re the complaints from Margaret Heath and Charlie about El Camino & Embarcadero, the former transportation czar was busily getting input from "stakeholders" like Stanford, the county, Paly etc, for at least 5 years before he left about 3 or 4 years ago.


4 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 12, 2018 at 6:51 pm

Hey Kdizzle, I don’t think speed cameras would be a popular idea. Santa Clara County decided not to have em in the incorporated cities. Costs $$$ to install and costs $$$ to remove! Can definitely tell ya some Palo Altans would be outraged if such cams were installed. Careful what u wish for , smarter ways to protect citizens and pedestrians here


8 people like this
Posted by Rose
a resident of Mayfield
on Jul 12, 2018 at 10:04 pm

Hurray!! It’s about time we slowed down Palo Alto’s traffic. Thank you Chief Jonsen. There’s slow cooking so why not Slow Traffic. Can we put in some electronic monitors that trigger a mailed citation with fine? I received one for scooting through an almost red and then red light on 19th Ave in SF many years ago. I’ve been sooo careful ever since. It came with a photo of me driving through the intersection.


15 people like this
Posted by Jenny
a resident of Duveneck School
on Jul 12, 2018 at 10:32 pm

Red light cameras would be fantastic. Cars are blatantly blowing through Embarcadero Rd. and OrEx on a regular basis, when it's already turned red, not just went it's at the end of a yellow. Menlo Park has them at the end of the Dumbarton Bridge and on El Camino Real. The camera caught me turning at the end of a yellow back in 2007 and the ticket was $400. Yes, it does train a driver to never run it again.

Glad to have the traffic patrol again.


4 people like this
Posted by Annoyed
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 13, 2018 at 12:33 am

The return of the ticky-tacky harassment force. It's not enough to pay high taxes to live in Palo Alto, we get fined and mined.


3 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 13, 2018 at 12:36 am

Red light cameras prove lucrative when the yellow is illegally short.
At least until lawsuits force return of all the fines.
Union City got caught at this awhile back.
Red light cameras are also shown to increase the number of rear-end collisions.


14 people like this
Posted by Feast on those delicious tickets
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 13, 2018 at 6:14 am

You'll get a Nelson from the Simpsons style "Ha-Ha" when I cruise by.


4 people like this
Posted by T. Cameron
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 13, 2018 at 12:41 pm

The city can save money by using its reserve/volunteer police force to monitor traffic concerns.

A whistle + a cellphone (with an app to capture & cite violators) should do the trick.


1 person likes this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 13, 2018 at 11:18 pm

I saw a Prius - a Prius! - pulled over today in Duveneck neighborhood.
Maybe it went one mile over the speed limit?
What we need are to catch the entitled sports cars that speed dangerously - I called the police non-energency number after having a distinctive one almost kill me. He sped off 101 onto Embarcadero and went through a red - I had right of way and was saved by the lag on shifting into first in my little car...otherwise he would have killed me. This was a couple years ago, this purple car was likely speeding up to Stanford. I hoped police would stake out by Edgewood Shopping Center the next day, same time to try and catch this guy, but they said they wouldn’t. Maybe more resources to combat the Stanford speeders now?
I refer to big-time speeding, endangering others’ lives.
Even with road congestion, it happens here with select guys coming off Embarcadero.


13 people like this
Posted by JR McDugan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 14, 2018 at 2:33 pm

JR McDugan is a registered user.

More than half of all cars on Middlefield are flagrantly violating the speed limit (35 MPH+ in a 25 MPH zone) and the situation is similar on Alma, Charleston / Arastradero and Embarcadero. Good to see the traffic team back in action, but I worry that it won't be enough to deter reckless drivers. If it's not profitable to write traffic tickets then fines should be raised until writing tickets at least pays for the officers' salary.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2018 at 11:05 am

Police on Middlefield outside the various churches on Sunday morning and I noticed one car being pulled over.


2 people like this
Posted by Riding a Swing at Peers Park
a resident of Southgate
on Jul 15, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Since Palo Alto is an affluent and upscale city, raising the cost of various traffic citations might also help to curb speeding and reckless driving.

Once word got out about $1000.00 tickets being issued for certain infractions, countless drivers would probably be more cautious when behind the wheel within the city's jurisdictions.

For violators finding these fines excessive or unaffordable, weekend community service + an expungement could provide a viable/cost-effective alternative.




10 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2018 at 2:47 pm

@Swing,

Palo Alto's population triples during weekdays due to the influx of people commuting to Palo Alto to work, so many of the violators may not be from "affluent" Palo Alto but from other affluent communities, not so affluent communities, or even less affluent parts of Palo Alto.

The punishment should fit the crime. For struggling families the cost of going to court and providing $1,000 worth of community service could be a tremendous burden.

What would you do if you got a $1,000 fine for doing 30 in a 25?


Like this comment
Posted by Riding a Swing at Peers Park
a resident of Southgate
on Jul 15, 2018 at 5:20 pm

"What would you do if you got a $1,000 fine for doing 30 in a 25?"

Go to traffic court (if the ticket is questionable) & based on my level of affluence, seek the mercy/compassion of the presiding judge (aka traffic commisioner).

Most of them aren't real judges anyway.




Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 15, 2018 at 5:27 pm

^ ... write it off as a business expense. And then raise my prices.


3 people like this
Posted by Riding a Swing at Peers Park
a resident of Southgate
on Jul 15, 2018 at 5:29 pm

^ ... write it off as a business expense. And then raise my prices.

Spoken like a true mid-peninsula attorney.


9 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 15, 2018 at 6:52 pm

@Swing,

Have you ever taken a half a day off from work to go throw yourself on the mercy of the traffic court? No, I didn't think so. Do you even work?

You sound like a very affluent Palo Altan that likes to virtue signal by bicycling and condemning the avarice of your somewhat less affluent neighbors who need a car and still have to work for a living.


2 people like this
Posted by JR McDugan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 15, 2018 at 7:40 pm

JR McDugan is a registered user.

To put it in perspective, driving 30 MPH on Middlefield, Embarcadero or Charleston / Arastadero is 20% above the speed limit and the equivalent of driving 78 MPH on the freeway. Driving 35 MPH on those roads is like driving 91 MPH on the freeway! There's a quick and easy way for all residents of all cities and all income groups to not pay speeding fines and that's to drive the speed limit. It's really not that hard, just leave home a minute or two earlier.

That said, we shouldn't bankrupt people because they made a mistake. Judges should have discretion to reduce fines in some cases if the offender truly shows remorse.


8 people like this
Posted by StarSpring
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 16, 2018 at 11:21 am

StarSpring is a registered user.

Look, CPA is deliberately and with malice aforethought deliberately throttling traffic speeds with limits set below that of neighboring cities, road furniture, and constricted through roads. The natural reaction is for drivers to rebel, -not- go slower. Treat drivers like they are children and they will respond like children. Treat drivers with respect and receive respect in return. Get rid of the road furniture. Up the speed limit on through roads (Alma, Oregon, Embarcadero) to 35 like our reasonable neighbors. Once that is done it is reasonable to deploy the traffic crew to reign in the true speeders. Vote everyone on the CC out in this next election and let them know why!


9 people like this
Posted by Speeder Mafia
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 16, 2018 at 11:37 am

Some thing this is a bargaining item...if you do this, then I'll do that. No. Obey the law. Don't like the law? Work to change it, but obey it until it is changed.

Normal people expect other normal people to be driving the posted speed limit, and will adjust their actions such as entering traffic based on that. Nobody cares what Menlo Park has for their streets. They care that when they pull out of their driveway, or turning onto a road, some moron won't be lasting by at 40 when the [posted/expected speed limit is 25.


9 people like this
Posted by Old School
a resident of Mayfield
on Jul 16, 2018 at 2:29 pm

Common driver courtesies + a sense of safety (for others as well as oneself) = less need for these kinds of measures.

Unfortunately, everyone seems to be in a hurry to get somewhere so some form of monitoring/citations are needed.


4 people like this
Posted by StarSpring
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 16, 2018 at 3:05 pm

StarSpring is a registered user.

@Speeder Mafia, I would agree with you, but the comments sections on EVERY ONE of these traffic related articles plainly describe drivers doing what they want since the "laws" don't serve the public. The City needs to back off their punitive approach to taxpayers just wanting to go about their business in a reasonable and timely fashion. The road boulders (Thank you Mr. Roadshow) seeking to be citizen cops are part of the problem, not the solution. 35 mph is a standard speed limit for roads like Alma/Oregon. You had better be watching our for faster traffic when backing out of a driveway because that is what defensive driving is all about. Even if all Palo Alto drivers suddenly chose to go 25, not everyone on our streets is from Palo Alto. Pretty sure anyone getting a ticket on Oregon for going 40mph would be able to take the City to court (and win!) for setting the limit too arbitrarily slow.


13 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 16, 2018 at 3:36 pm

^ difference between 35 and 40 for the entire length of Oregon Expy is 25 seconds.


Posted by nobody special
a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)

on Jul 16, 2018 at 6:06 pm


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Posted by JR McDugan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jul 16, 2018 at 8:35 pm

JR McDugan is a registered user.

@StarSpring, the posted speeds in Palo Alto are reasonable maximum safe speeds. The speed limits in Mountain View are irrelevant because their roads are much newer and much wider. You are creating an unsafe environment in your own city and I suggest you follow the law before you are ticketed, or worse, cause an injury to others with your negligence.


Like this comment
Posted by Cop Mafia
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2018 at 5:02 am

Looks like we got us someone who thinks he's got a new definition on how to obey a simply law. Enjoy your ticket, sorry, I meant tickets. Fight them all and see how far you get.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 17, 2018 at 7:38 am

The city put down striping on Charleston near Middlefield. These bulbouts,pinch points, and islands are definitely going to cause more traffic nightmares.


3 people like this
Posted by StarSpring
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2018 at 9:32 am

StarSpring is a registered user.

@Cop Mafia, Isn't Cop Mafia a contradiction in terms? Or perhaps not. When I first moved to Palo Alto I mistakenly turned the wrong way on a one way street (Channing). It was night, I was unfamiliar. I immediately realized my mistake, slowed almost to zero and corrected myself immediately. One of Palo Alto's finest pulled me over and promptly issued a ticket. That was the second of two traffic violations I have received in 45 years of high mileage driving. The first was when I was 18 and admittedly speeding. That was a fair catch by the officer involved. I wrote the judge a nice letter and the fine was reduced by half, IIRC. PAPD isn't going to catch me speeding because I typically don't, but I also keep up with the flow of traffic because being a road boulder is also very dangerous.


6 people like this
Posted by Road Contruction Mafia
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2018 at 9:35 am

We need to fast track those self driving cars. Speed limits, full stops, turn signals, and best of all, no ego. All those will combine to a relaxed and predictable flow of traffic rather than the stop/start jitterbug we all have to currently do on the roads.


1 person likes this
Posted by Rick
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 17, 2018 at 9:53 am

@JR McDugan, kinetic energy goes up at the square of the speed. Your street vs. freeway comparison is accurate, but not complete. Driving 90 on the freeway results in much more colision daamage than 40.


3 people like this
Posted by StarSpring
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2018 at 11:11 am

StarSpring is a registered user.

Where can I find the street speed studies that were done for Palo Alto?


News from the Southland: Web Link

Speed limits will be increased on more than 94 miles of streets across the city of Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today.

Some of the streets that will have higher speed limits are among the deadliest in the city. But city officials say they have no choice, because rules about setting speed limits are determined by the state.

They say the silver lining is that increasing the speed limits could make streets safer, because police can now hand out speeding tickets. California law also says speed citations can only be issued on streets where speed studies have been conducted in the last five to 10 years.

<snip>

Under current law, Los Angeles also doesn’t have the power to lower the speed limits on the vast majority of its streets, even if a road is particularly dangerous. State law requires speed limits on city streets in California to be set what’s called the 85th percentile speed—that is the speed at which 85 percent of the drivers are driving at or below.


1 person likes this
Posted by StarSpring
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2018 at 11:43 am

StarSpring is a registered user.

Ah, This study: Web Link

Clearly shows that Palo Alto is attempting to subvert California law regarding safe driving speeds. That is the real purpose of the road furniture. Make it so hazardous to drive that the 85th percentile is imposed from without rather than setting the speed limits based on what 85% of drivers find reasonable and proper. Needless to say this makes our streets less safe for everyone.


Like this comment
Posted by Clarity Mafia
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 17, 2018 at 12:52 pm

or not. seems open to interpretation, as you have shown.


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