City of Los Altos

Engineering Division 1 N San Antonio Road Los Altos, CA 94022

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 Dear resident,

In response to community-wide concerns about traffic and speeding in our town, the City Council has made traffic improvements one of its top priorities to address in 2017. As such, the City is exploring options which may enhance the effectiveness of Los Altos Police Officer’s traffic and speed enforcement efforts.

You are receiving this letter because your residence is located on a street that is currently proposed for a Speed Limit Trial Period. Please be sure to read on for more information.

One of the safest and most effective methods by which Officers can enforce speed limits is by using radar. Based on California law, for Officers to use radar, speed limits must be established by the procedures and information contained in engineering and traffic surveys such as 85% speed, average daily traffic and accident rates.

The speed limit on many of the most heavily traveled streets in Los Altos are not currently set based on the necessary surveys, which means Officers are unable to lawfully use radar on these specific street segments. In the past, the City Council has not approved raising speed limits due to a desire to keep speed limits lower in hopes of encouraging drivers to slow down and adhere to the posted speed limits. Based on recent traffic speed surveys, the data shows this has not been an effective method to reduce speeding.

The City Council has asked staff to identify one street segment to evaluate the impacts of raising speed limits to allow Officer’s use of radar for traffic enforcement. To determine an appropriate collector street segment to raise a speed limit and evaluate its impacts, engineering and traffic enforcement staff took several factors into account such as average daily traffic, cut-through traffic, speeding complaints and street geometry. Based on these factors, staff recommends Cuesta Drive between Springer Road and El Monte Avenue to raise the speed limit from 25 MPH to 30 MPH for a period of one year.

City Council Meeting

City Council will consider this topic at its meeting on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at Los Altos City Hall, Community Meeting Chambers, 1 N San Antonio Road.

More Information

To learn more about this topic and proposed Speed Limit Trial Period, you may view the City Council staff report located at (see Item #4).

Cedric Novenario

City of Los Altos, Transportation Services Manager