By Joe Naiman
County supervisors have ratified several recommendations from the county’s Traffic Advisory Committee, including a 45 mph speed limit on Elm Street and weekend and holiday parking prohibitions near Cedar Creek Trail.
The actions, approved on Oct. 12, make the speed limit and parking prohibitions effective on Nov. 11. The Elm Street speed limit, which will be enforced by radar, covers the segment from Haverford Road to Olive Street. The parking prohibitions will be along the entirety of Bellbottom Way, Cathedral Way, Cherish Way, Love Lane, Sugar Plum Way and Thornbush Road between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.
The speed limit and parking prohibitions were recommended by the Traffic Advisory Committee during the TAC’s July 22 meeting.
For a speed limit to be enforceable by radar, a speed survey must show that the speed limit is within the closest 5 mph to the 85th percentile speed, although the speed limit can be reduced by 5 mph if findings of special circumstances are made. The speed survey taken indicated an 85th percentile speed of 51.1 mph, which would be a 50 mph speed limit in the absence of special findings.
Ten of the 14 reported accidents over a five-year period involved solo drivers hitting power poles or fences. The closure of the Ramona Landfill requires large amounts of cover material to be trucked in and therefore a significant presence of heavy commercial vehicles, and the area includes nearby equestrian and baseball facilities, multiple driveways, intersecting streets, and weekend recreational bicycle use. The 45 mph speed limit also matches the 45 mph speed limit recently adopted for Haverford Road.
The popularity of Cedar Creek Trail has overburdened traffic and parking in the neighborhood by the trailhead. The Cedar Creek Trail has one access in Ramona and one in Julian, and the 29 parking spaces at the Ramona access are insufficient to accommodate all users. The 54 property owners did not unanimously support the peak-hour parking prohibition but provided a consensus in support, according to a county report.
The San Diego Country Estates Association has expressed concern that parking will be relocated to Ramona Oaks Road and has indicated a desire to identify a reasonable and incremental approach. The TAC also recognized the possibility of adverse impacts, and the TAC recommendation included reviewing the parking ban after Cedar Creek Trail is re-opened and six months of operational data can be obtained.