New speed limit policy provides town more autonomy |

New speed limit policy provides town more autonomy

Emma Garrard/ Sierra SunThe Town of Truckee approved policy Thursday that will allow local officials more control over setting speed limits and enforcement.

A new town policy will give Truckee police officers more options in enforcing local speed limits.

The Truckee Town Council voted Thursday to remove local streets from the Federal Aid System map, thereby changing the way the town can determine speed limits. The resolution does not change any local speed limits.

Public Works Director Dan Wilkins said towns such as Truckee often placed roads on the FAS map to improve their chances for funding, but now that money from that source is no longer available, the road designation only restricts how speed limits can be adopted and enforced.

Some council members voiced concerns over how removing local roads from the map would affect emergency aid, but Wilkins said the effects would be minimal, if any.

Under the FAS map, speed limits are set at the speed at or below which 85 percent of vehicles drive, Wilkins said.

That would increase some local speed limits by 5 to 10 miles per hour, including on Northwoods Boulevard, the stretch of Donner Pass Road along Donner Lake, and on Glenshire Drive. Under the previous system, the speed limits on those roads could have been increased to 40, 45, and 50 mph respectively.

By designating these and other roads as “local,” however, the town council will have more discretion over setting speed limits, and police will be able to enforce speed law using radar, Wilkins said.

After receiving the nod from the town council, the map modifications will go to the Nevada County Transportation Commission and Caltrans for approval, so the changes will not likely go into effect for about nine months, Wilkins said.

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