Coronado residents upset over proposal to raise speed limit


70-year-old man was hit and killed by car on May 11

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CORONADO,  Calif. -- Caltrans shocked a standing-room-only crowd at a Coronado City Council meeting Tuesday when it announced it was going to raise and not lower the speed limit on a pair of streets plagued by pedestrian accidents.

Fourth and Third streets serve as the main corridor in and out of the city and are considered part of a state highway.

Residents wanted speeds lowered, hoping that would help decrease the number of people hit by cars while crossing the street. A few weeks ago, a 70-year-old man was struck and killed by a car.

Caltrans plans on raising the speed limit from 25 to 30 miles an hour because recent surveys showed the average speed in the area is about 34 miles an hour. According to Marcelo Peinado, District 11 Division Chief of Traffic Operations, the state mandates speeds be close to "safe operating average speeds."

"Thirty-four miles an hour is adjusted, rounded up to nearest 5 mph, which is 35 and then we apply a five-mile reduction to 30,"  Peinado explained.

But some residents fear people will take liberties with the new speed limit and drive even faster, making things more dangerous for pedestrians.

"If everyone is going too fast at 25 mph, why would going 30 make things safer? It's just not common sense," said resident Fern Nelson.

The Coronado City Council voted to oppose increasing the speed limits, but the decision is up to Caltrans. The Council plans on asking the city's police department to increase patrols in the area and write more speeding tickets as a way to get people to slow down. It's also looking into adding crossing guards at various intersections to help people safely cross the street.

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