Truckee’s need for reducing speed limits
Designating speed limits isn’t as easy as just putting a number up on a sign.
The Town of Truckee is weighing the benefits of reclassifying certain roads within the town to change the policy that dictates speed limits. While many local roads are currently on the Federal Aid System map, town staff is recommending taking them off, giving the town more control over setting and enforcing speed limits.
“We are working with the engineering department,” said Truckee Police Chief Scott Berry. “We’re not really changing the speed limits. This is allowing us to enforce 25 mile-per-hour limits on residential streets.”
By removing all roads in Truckee except for Highway 89, Highway 267 and Interstate 80 from the Federal Aid System map, the town won’t be required to follow 2006 California Vehicle Code requirements that would potentially increase speed limits by 5 to 10 mph, according to the town staff report.
These increases would come out of a required speed survey, but by designating the roads as local, the town wouldn’t need to conduct, or follow the results of, such a survey.
“Under those guidelines, we would have to do surveys that would show the speed limits should be higher, but the citizens as a whole have asked us not to raise those limits,” Berry said.
When the recommendation was heard by town council on Thursday, April 5, council members raised concerns about whether such a change would limit emergency aid in the case of a disaster, referring to past floods.
“That’s the downside, but the roads being considered aren’t along the river, and aren’t areas we’ve needed help for,” Berry said.
The item was continued from the council meeting to an as-yet-undetermined future date.
Dan Landon, executive director for the Nevada County Transportation Commission, said the roads were included in the Federal Aid System before the incorporation of the Town of Truckee.
“It’s primarily based on default factors the government uses to classify roads based on traffic volume,” Landon said.