By Mark Gutglueck
In a cruel twist of fate, a bicyclist on the streets of Redlands was run down and killed by a motorist, less than a day-and-a-half after the Redlands City Council, in the face of an intense and concerted protest of city residents who stood up against it doing so, voted to raise the speed limit at more than two score locations throughout the 36.43-square mile city.
On October 28, 2022, the City of Redlands released and posted traffic surveys that had been undertaken by RK Engineering Group, Inc with regard to various street segments throughout the city. Such studies, done in accordance with California Vehicle Code and standards outlined in the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, are generally completed in most California municipalities every seven to fourteen years under the supervision of those cities’ engineering divisions.
Conceptually and in accordance with state standards, those surveys monitor the average speed of vehicles along specific spans of roadway, such that in accordance with those speed averages, a determination of the appropriate speed limit along those roadways at those points is set. Although the average speed of cars measured during the survey period is not the sole criterion used in ascertaining the appropriate speed limit along a given span of roadway, the application of elements of the vehicle code, jurisprudence standards used in California traffic courts, case law and other considerations have resulted in those cited for exceeding the posted speed limit having their citations dismissed upon a demonstration that the posted speed is below the 85th percentile of the actual free-flow collective actual speeds of vehicles measured passing along that particular corridor. Thus, a loose standard among traffic engineers and cities has evolved where cities use a standard of the 85th percentile of the average speed along a given road as the speed limit that is to be posted. Adherence to this standard is not without controversy. Simply that many motorists along a specific span of roadway exceed what is under normal conditions a sensible and safe speed should not, many people feel, result in the speed limit being increased to an unsafe level. City officials, on the other hand, seeking to ensure that any speeding citations that are issued will result in convictions if they are contested in court, default to using that standard. Put simply, those municipal officials insist it is incumbent upon them to up the speed limit whenever fewer than 85 out of 100 vehicles along that stretch obey the speed limit during the time they are surveying the speed of vehicles there.
According to the traffic study of some 132 stretches of roadway in Redlands done by RK Engineering Group and released by the city on October 28, along 45 of those 132 spans the recommendation was that the speed limit be increased.
In 38 of those cases, the recommended increases were five miles per hour. Included in these are spans along Alabama Street, Alta Vista Drive, Cajon Street, California Street, Center Street, Citrus Avenue, Colton Avenue, Crescent Avenue, Dearborn Street, Elizabeth Street, Fern Avenue, Ford Street, Franklin Avenue, Garden Street, Grove Street, Highland Avenue, Lugonia Avenue, Mountain View Avenue, Orange Tree Lane, Pacific Street, Palmetto Avenue, Palo Alto Drive, Pennsylvania Avenue, Pioneer Avenue, Reservoir Road, San Bernardino Avenue, San Mateo Street, Sunset Drive, Sunnyside Avenue, Texas Street, Via Vista Drive, University Street and Wabash Avenue.
In seven of the cases, the recommendation was that those speed limits jump by ten miles per hour. Those included: along Sunset Drive, from Panorama Point to Franklin Avenue, where the speed limit is to go from 25 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour; on Sunset Drive from Vinton Way to Alta Vista Drive, where the speed limit of 30 miles per hour is to increase to 40 miles per hour; the span of Pioneer Avenue from Occidental Drive to Dearborn Street, where an increase from 35 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour is recommended; westbound on Palmetto Avenue, between Nevada Street and California Street, which is to see the current 30 miles per hour limit go to 40 miles per hour; on Orange Tree Lane from Nevada Street to Alabama Street, where RK Engineering’s survey resulted in a recommended increase from 30 miles per hour to 40 miles per hour; the length of Franklin Avenue between Oak Street and Garden Street, where the limit is to increase from 25 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour; and on Dearborn Street from 5th Avenue to Colton Avenue, involving a ten mile per hour increase from 30 miles per hour to 40 miles per hour.
In seven other cases, the speed limit was reduced by five miles per hour, those being on Brockton Avenue from New York Street to Texas Street; Central Avenue from University Street to Judson Street; Cypress Avenue from Center Street to Redlands Boulevard; eastbound Lugonia Avenue from California Street to Alabama Street; Mariposa Drive from Halsey Street to Dwight Street; Texas Street from Lugonia Avenue to San Bernardino Avenue; and Texas Street from San Bernardino Avenue to Domestic Avenue.
In the remaining 80 survey areas, it was recommended that no change to the existing speed limit be made. On March 2, 2022, the Redlands Traffic and Parking Commission received the RK Engineering Group’s study and made an official acceptance of its findings, and at its June 7, 2022, the city council likewise accepted the traffic study as complete and factual.
At its November 15, 2022 meeting, the city council introduced and gave what is referred to as the first reading, or approval, of Ordinance No. 2946, which incorporated the 38 five mile per hour speed limit increases, the seven ten mile per hour speed limit increases and the seven five mile per hour speed limit reductions.
For the ordinance to obtain final approval, it needed to undergo a second reading/approval, which was scheduled for a vote of the city council this week, on December 6.
Scores of residents objected to what the city council was going to finalize.
Charlie Frye, a 28-year resident of Redlands, in writing stated, “Staff has misled the city council in stating this [adopting the higher speeds reflected in the traffic survey] is required for the enforcement of speed limits.”
Frye referenced recent legislation which would allow the city to keep its current speed limits intact.
“Assembly Bill 43, signed into law on October 8, 2022, modifies the California Vehicle Code to first account for safety and conditions and dispels the myth that the 85th percentile of average speeds on a road is required to set an enforceable speed limit,” Frye said.
Frye noted that John Harris, the director of Redlands’ engineering division, is not licensed to practice engineering in California but had overridden the city’s licensed engineer, Goutam Dobey, with regard to the setting of the city’s speed limits.
“City staff has been misusing the current Vehicle Code that applies to highways to raise speeds on residential streets,” Frye wrote. “Staff is attempting to use traffic studies that are inaccurate, omitting key features such as schools (Kimberly and Kingsbury) and other features such as residential density within one quarter of a mile of the road, curves, drainage, etc. Who approved payment for this poorly executed study? Did anyone actually verify its quality before doing so? I am very upset that my tax dollars are being used so foolishly.”
Frye said, “Nobody living in my neighborhood has requested the speed limits be raised.” He said it was “an irresponsible lie” that the city is “required by law to raise speed limits.”
Diana Hill told the council, “There are many blind spots on Alta Vista. Our family has witnessed three accidents in front of our house. None of us could have imagined cars or people flying over 50 feet. Both were the result of speeding. One person was left paralyzed. If the council is not going to lower the speed limit, please leave it alone.”
Carol Edwards told the city council, “I walk two-to-three miles every morning, using Florida, 16th, Avenue N, Highview Drive and Alta Vista Drive. I’m guessing the average speed of the vehicles coming down Alta Vista toward Outer Highway 10 is in the range of 50 to 60 miles per hour, if not faster, and the uphill speed is probably 45 to 50. Due to the long, sweeping curves and steep gradient of Alta Vista, a lot of the vehicles coming down from Sunset have a tendency to drift out of their lane toward the east side of the road where pedestrians are walking. The chances of this happening are so great that I now step up onto the curb when a vehicle is coming toward me at 60 mph.
“The idea that the speed limit might be increased is appalling,” Edwards continued. “Now these speeding, potentially distracted drivers will be moving even faster than they currently are driving and centrifugal force will pull their vehicles over even further. I’d rather not be roadkill in someone’s driveway. If anything is done, maybe reducing the speed limit or posting officers from the police department with radar guns would help these drivers slow down to a safe speed. But increasing the speed limit? Please, no.”
With regard to alteration of the speed limits along city streets in Redlands, Dave Simpson said, “If anything, lower it but please do not raise it.”
Pamela L. Smyth told the city council, “I live within walking distance of Alta Vista and Sunset Drive and can see the steady flow of southbound traffic looking due east from the sundeck of my two-story house. I am horrified at the idea that anyone would even consider increasing the speed limit on this very, very busy street, given the number of children waiting for school buses or parents walking out to meet them at drop-off areas, bicycle riders, skateboarders, dog walkers, and commuters who use this road in conjunction with the hundreds of home owners in the entire southeastern portion of the city – from Alessandro Blvd., Ford Street, and Wabash to the west of Alta Vista and as far as Live Oak Canyon Road to the southeast. The intersection of Alta Vista and Outer Highway 10 is extremely hard to cross now due to the huge increase in traffic coming from ‘downtown’ Redlands up what we call ‘the back way’ to access the I-10 via Alta Vista and Outer Highway 10. Because of the steady flow of traffic downhill on Alta Vista to Outer Highway 10, I have found that I have to pull off the road to wait to turn left on Outer Highway 10 just to go home.”
Smyth observed, “Perhaps only someone who does not know the history of this area or has never used this street would suggest increasing the speed limit simply due to an unfamiliarity of traffic use patterns there, in addition to not having driven this street on a regular or daily basis. This is not a quiet country lane, but a street with a steep grade and curves that require focused and careful driving. This is a semi-rural community and not a commercial neighborhood accessed by a large byway or expressway. Where in the world anyone would get the idea that increasing the safe and sane speed limit of 35 miles per hour is practical or even reasonable is simply lost on me. You all know that due to the almost daily and often fatal accidents on Live Oak Canyon Road that the increase in speed set there a few years back was moved back again for safety’s sake. A review of California Hiighway Patrol accident reports between Ford Street and the Yucaipa Overpass bridge across nine months in 2021 shows that over 172 accidents happened mostly in the eastbound lanes and where drivers were slowing behind the trucks in the truck lanes or trying to merge to take the on-ramp to Yucaipa Blvd. or Outer Highway 10 to access the I-10 past Alta Vista down to Live Oak Canyon. The causes noted in those reports were excessive and unsafe speeds, unsafe lane changes, sideswiping, and suddenly slowing or stopped traffic. An increase in the speed on Alta Vista will contribute to more accidents, I can assure you, based on the amount of traffic taking that on-ramp day and night and using Outer Highway 10 as an express route to Alta Vista and points beyond.”
Smyth noted that “On October 8, 2022, Assembly Bill 43 was signed into law allowing local authorities to make streets safer and reduce speed limits. The California Vehicle Code provides the justification to keep the Alta Vista Drive speed limit at 35 miles per hour due to pedestrian traffic, bicycle traffic, curves, gradient, being a residential neighborhood, school bus stops, blind corners, hidden driveways and more. The city’s excuse that it has no choice is not true, as the engineering and traffic survey ‘85th percentile rule’ no longer dictates speeds on local streets, as California law gives the city council the authority to lower speeds. Speeds must be reasonable and safe. Our neighborhood must be safe.”
Smyth asked, “Would any one of you want to leave your home and nearly be hit every day or see your children or grandchildren put in peril because of speeding traffic and drivers not watching out for public safety, slowing to allow residents to pull onto the street, or drivers not even concerned about public safety? Raising the speed limit is a signal for such drivers to kill, putting it frankly. I have been forced to pull off the road more than once. How many times are each of you forced to pull off your own street or access road?”
Victor Rajcan, who resides on Ashforth Drive, said his observation over the 37 years he has lived proximate to South Lane and Sunset in Redlands is that “People speed down that road all the time and if you raise the speed limit five miles per hour they’ll just go faster, particularly the young guys who drive Lamborghinis and Porsches. I do not approve of them raising the speed limit on Sunset Drive. Check your records and see how many people have been hit, paralyzed or suffered broken legs at the corner of South Lane and Alta Vista.”
Rajcan said, “I live on the corner with a hidden driveway and one of these days there’ll be an accident on my corner and hopefully it will not involve me. I need a sign that states, ‘Slow down. Hidden driveway.’ Vote no for raising the speed limit.”
Sarah Herbert, who lives off of Hilltop Drive, said, “Our street runs into Alta Vista. One of our biggest concerns is that when we’re pulling out of that street, it’s already like a blind corner. We actually prefer to drive at night because we can see car lights to know when we can go. With the increase in speed limit, it just puts us at risk of getting hit from the side. The other thing is it is also a bus stop for the local school, so we have kids crossing the streets to get in their cars with their parents.”
Camille Hatton, a resident on Alta Vista, told the council there were “many driveways on the street that are hidden. It is very hard for us to get out because I live right there. When I come out, here comes a car coming so fast, I’m right away putting it in reverse. Speeders are going to be speeders. Why give them an excuse?”
Brandi Bailes told the council, “As a resident of Redlands and a concerned citizen, I am writing to ask for your reconsideration of the speed limit increases. As an avid runner and cyclist, I can tell you that I have had many close calls with motorists on Sunset and Alta Vista. Seeing the speed monitor gave me such relief. I thought that the city was finally monitoring the speed on Alta Vista and Sunset with the intention of making adjustments to keep their walking, running and cycling citizens safe. I am so disappointed to see that rather than lowering the speed or adding a stop sign at the intersection of Highview Drive and Alta Vista to slow traffic, you are considering raising the speed limit.”
Bailes said, “The areas where you are considering raising the speed limit are residential roads with no sidewalks. You might as well tell pedestrians they are not allowed to walk there. The road in this area is so narrow that the bike lane is also the car lane. How are cyclists supposed to feel safe riding in the lane with traffic moving around blind corners at 40 miles per hour? Would you feel safe riding in this neighborhood or having a loved one jog or ride down these narrow, winding, and now high-speed streets? I do not. It is unfair to strip your citizens of their right to feel safe while engaging in healthy activities in their own neighborhoods.”
Bailes took issue with the criteria used in setting the higher speed limits.
“According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, ‘Percentile-based speed limit setting methods fail at keeping people safe because they set a permanently moving target based on current human behavior, not safety.’ The association states, ‘a growing body of research shows that drivers base their decisions at least partially on the posted speed limit. When they see higher posted limits and see the resulting increased speed of their peers, they drive faster too, which results in an increased speed on the street overall.’ This means that higher posted speeds will result in higher speeds for drivers, which means that the speed limit will need to keep increasing to conform to the 85th percentile method. The 85th percentile rule adjusts for the fastest drivers, not the safest drivers. The article closes with this important information, ‘Relying on a percentile-based system focused on current driver behavior, rather than a defined safety target to set speed limits, significantly limits cities’ ability to reduce traffic deaths.’”
Bailes told the city council, “Caltrans discusses the use of the 85th percentile as one part of setting speeds and includes collision history, highway, traffic, and roadside conditions not readily apparent to the driver.” Bailes said the city should consider “pedestrian and bicyclist safety. I would argue that the high use of Alta Vista and Sunset as a cycling and running route would meet the qualifier of conditions not readily apparent to the driver. When drivers navigate this narrow and twisting route, they are not likely expecting large groups of cyclists, sometimes more than 20 at a time, moving slowly due to the incline and in the middle of the lane due to the narrowness of the roads. Add to that runners trying to navigate large groups of cyclists and an increased speed limit to make the situation even less expected and safe.”
Chris Deveau said, “I want to voice my opposition to the increase in the speed limits. In the 18 years I’ve been there, we’ve experienced an increase in speeders up and down Alta Vista and on Sunset. Four years ago, I wound up with a vehicle in my back yard with a young man that drove at excessive speed coming around the curve from Sunset. Just this summer we had another individual that wound up in the front yard of a neighbor. Prior to that there was another vehicle that went off the road through somebody’s yard and launched over somebody else’s wall. I am in law enforcement, and we’ve seen it on the freeways as we’ve seen within the communities: there is plus five [factor]. If the speed limit is 35, people are going to drive 40. I think that’s where these surveys come in. People are going to drive over that a bit. You see it on the freeway: it’s about ten miles an hour. If it’s 65, they are doing 75, maybe 80. So, increasing the speed limit, I think, is going to increase the likelihood of injury. Alta Vista and Sunset, as we know, has a large amount of bicyclists, runners, people running and using the environment. I’m not sure what the benefit would be of increasing the speed. I think it’s probably not in our best interest as a community. When the freeway gets backed up, they use Alta Vista and Sunset to get through the neighborhood. It is not a major thoroughfare and if you increase that speed limit, you’re just going to increase the likelihood that people are going to be injured.”
Jim D’Amico, speaking with regard to the proposal to increase the speed limit on Alta Vista Drive, said, “The current speed limit is getting the job done. The road itself is less than a mile long, so what kind of savings can there be in terms of time or efficiency in raising the speed limit on a road that’s less than a mile long? The only people that exceed the speed limit now, the outliers that are driving this 85 percent rule, are the ones that are creating excessive noise, excessive safety violations, and it just doesn’t seem reasonable to raise the speed limits for people that are already exceeding the speed limit. In fact, to me, it’s almost circular logic that if you have to raise the speed limit to make it match what most people are driving, that it will cycle up and up and up and will never end.”
D’Amico said, “What I’d rather see is some enforcement. The police department is rarely there. I’ve called them a few times and they’ve put the trailer out with the sign of how fast you are going over the 25 mile per hour limit over the years, but I would bet there haven’t been five tickets written for moving violations on Alta Vista. I’ve never seen one, I’ll put it that way. To me, the more logical approach might be to enforce the current laws and drive the speed limit down, rather than letting those who don’t obey the law drive the speed limit up. Alta Vista was not engineered for the types of trucks and SUVs and service vans that travel up and down that street regularly now. In some places there’s no shoulder. In some places it’s only a few feet wide. There’s five or six S-curves, with vehicles that big, that heavy traveling that fast through that sort of terrain. The slope itself must not have been accounted for in your survey. You’re basically traveling downhill with a curve. It’s a recipe for disaster. When I called the person in Orange County that did the survey and I asked him, ‘Did you account for the sunsets in the fall and the winter there when the sun sinks into the horizon and you can’t see what the hell’s going on as you’re coming up the road?’ he had no idea what I was talking about. I believe in addition to the reason of safety, the methodology is wrong. You didn’t ask us. You just changed it. That’s the wrong way to go about it in the City of Redlands.
Amanda Frye said, “The RK Engineering and Traffic Survey done for the City of Redlands is flawed, with major omissions. On Alta Vista Drive, the fact that this is a residential, pedestrian and bicycle area along with other obvious omissions by RK Engineering demonstrates the flawed engineering work that was conducted by this firm. The greater than ten percent gradient, curves, blind corners, hidden driveways, proximity to Oakmont Park, horse trails, bicycle route, pedestrian traffic and other issues along Alta Vista Drive make this a dangerous road for all those who live or travel along this road with vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed. Raising the speed limit encourages people to go faster, thus endangering lives, especially those of people traveling by bicycle or walking. Scanning the RK Engineering survey, other omissions are evident, such as the proximity of schools, parks and the Plymouth Village senior facility. These glaring omissions in the RK Engineering survey have caused many citizens to question if the work was properly reviewed by any Redlands staff member before acceptance or recommending that any speed limits could be raised. The flaws in the RK Engineering and Traffic Survey make it inconsistent with the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices requirements and the California Vehicle Code Section 627.”
Frye said, “The way this was done and the logic used was not appropriate. In many places, such as near Kimberly Crest, along Cajon, near Fern and Garden, there is no notation of children being present or senior citizens who are likely to be on foot. As an engineering study, it is flawed. It is obvious that no one in the city checked this or proofread it. The council is taking action based upon a flawed document and flawed analysis. You have staff making videos about Christmas instead of being devoted to reading documents that are critical to the safety of the city’s residents.”
Frye persisted, “There are many conditions not apparent to drivers that give many reasons to lower the speed limit on Alta Vista Drive back to 35 mph. The city council has the authority to lower the speed limit based on the California Vehicle Code.”
Frye pointed out that “City Engineer [Goutam] Dobey met with area residents in August and agreed with the engineering oversights in the study and agreed to lower the speed limit to 35 mph but was said to have been overruled. How can staff overrule the city engineer’s opinion when he is bound by law to protect the public welfare? The RK Engineering and Traffic Survey is flawed with many omissions along Alta Vista Drive and other streets such as Elizabeth, Garden and Cajon, creating doubt among many people if RK Engineering ever physically visited the sites as required by the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Based on these flaws alone, the engineering and traffic study, accident claims would not be defensible in court, putting the liability and negligence on the city.”
According to Frye, “In 2009, the then-Redlands City Council lowered the speed limit based on its authority and the city engineer’s opinion based on the California Vehicle Code, which made the 35-mph speed limit enforceable. However, there has been very little, if any, police enforcement on Alta Vista Drive. It is painful to hear the stories of my neighbor being struck while riding on his bicycle on Alta Vista Drive and being put out of work for six months or the neighbor on Florida Street who was ‘T-boned’ in an accident on Alta Vista Drive due to a speeding car or the woman whose son was paralyzed from being hit on Alta Vista Drive. We like our neighbors and care about each other and value their lives. Many people wrote to you and/or addressed the city council regarding their concerns about raising the speed limit on Alta Vista Drive. We have a wide range of professionals and retirees including disabled citizens who enjoy our neighborhood.
“I am not sure why Redlands City Council or staff rubber-stamped the RK Engineering and Traffic Study with the glaring omissions,” Frye continued. “Why raise speed limits that endanger the citizens and all who travel through our city based on a flawed study? I ask you to recognize the error and kindly redraft an ordinance to lower the speed limit on Alta Vista Drive to 35 mph. If the Long Beach City Council can lower speed limits to save lives, so can the Redlands City Council.”
Redlands Police Chief Chris Catren Tuesday night said, “If we have a speed limit that’s not supported by a survey, we can’t lawfully make a traffic stop. They [i.e. motorists] haven’t violated a particular law under an enforceable segment, so that’s the quandary we’re stuck in. I agree with everybody here. Lower speed limits are a friend of ours. It’s one of those things we’d like to do – more enforcement – but I think everybody knows the staffing challenges that we have. We have two people assigned to traffic for the entire city of nearly 40 square miles. We’re struggling to get to the intersections where we actually have a lot of collisions. We do all of our enforcement based on where we’re seeing multiple collisions, especially injury collisions. In that area, obviously, I understand over several years, there have been collisions, but we have intersections, of course, in the city where that’s a weekly or monthly occurrence.”
Many city residents were dismayed at the manner in which city officials acknowledged that the city’s speed enforcement effort was, at best, anemic, but supported raising speed limits in the 45 instances to preserve the ability of the city’s patrol officers to write speeding tickets. If city officials have in essence given up on issuing citations to speeders, those residents reasoned, then they should leave the lower speed limits in place to keep those drivers who do abide by them from increasing their speed.
Redlands Municipal Utilities and Engineering Department Director John Harris said, “My staff – engineering staff and utilities and the engineering department – don’t necessarily disagree with anything that’s being said. We’re seeing what’s called speed creep over time. In my industry that’s the term used to describe what you’ve heard about today. You raise the speeds and people drive about five miles per hour or so above the speed limit. The recommendations in the ordinance tonight are the best that we can do at the staff level to comply with the law, number one, and, number two, allow law enforcement officers to legally issue citations or enforceable citations. Our city engineer has taken every possible liberty to hold the speeds down in accordance with the law.”
Harris said of Alta Vista Drive, “The posted speed limit today is 35. We did the study. The measured 85th percentile is 47 miles an hour. The law allows us to immediately round down to the nearest five-mile-an-hour increment. Our city engineer did that. So, we rounded down to 45-miles-per-hour. And then the law also allows the city engineer or registered engineer to make another five-mile-an-hour adjustment from there for all the other things that we heard talked about today – the grade of the road, proximity of driveways and schools and those sorts of things. So, he took that allowance, as well. That’s how we landed on the 40-mile-per-hour recommendation. By law, we’re not given any more liberty to adjust the speed limit any further without taking the power or the ability of our law enforcement officers to issue citations that are enforceable away from them.”
Redlands Mayor Paul Barich made a halfhearted effort to not be dismissive of his constituents’ concerns, but was unwilling to have the city council apply some form of creative approach to the situation such as going to the state legislature or governor for a special dispensation that would allow Redlands to put the terms of Assembly Bill 43, which was passed by the California Legislature earlier this year and is to allow a municipality to bypass the use of traffic speed survey data in setting local speed limits beginning in June 2024, into effect immediately.
Nor was Barich amenable to simply having the city leave the posted speed limits in place, even as the speed enforcement efforts in most of the city are being essentially neglected.
He did admit “We can post whatever we have,” but did not follow through on a discussion with regard to doing just that.
As to the hazard of drivers already driving at excessive speed and in defiance of the posted limits, Barich said, “It’s a concern. It’s not that we’re not concerned about it but, unfortunately, we have certain laws.”
He indicated the city was essentially resigned to having to raise the speed limits where people were already exceeding those posted limits.
“We could put 10-miles-an-hour and people are going to exceed that,” the mayor said. “I don’t like the idea of hearing squeaking and going out and seeing some car rolled.”
As the mayor and primary city official chosen by Redlands citizens to intercede for them at all levels of government, including at City Hall, with the county and the state, Barich indicated he was not willing to accept that burden. Instead, he suggested that the city’s residents should take it upon themselves to deal with the state government’s bureaucracy.
“I don’t know what else we can do,” Barich said. “Like I’ve said before, if you want to change the law, change what’s in Sacramento. Most of that stuff’s coming down from there. We’re bound by that.”
The council voted unanimously at around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday night to make the speed changes.
A little more than 36-and-a-half hours later, a traffic fatality occurred when a vehicle ran into a bicyclist within a short distance of Moore Middle School.
According to the city’s spokesman, Carl Baker, “There was a fatal collision at about 8:45 a.m. Thursday morning, December. 8, in the 1400 block of 5th Avenue, near Marion Road, involving a bicyclist who was struck by a 2012 Ford Escape, driven by an 89-year-old Yucaipa woman.”
Baker told the Sentinel. “The victim was a 16-year-old Mexican national who was visiting the area and was scheduled to return to Mexico in the next few weeks. There was no indication of drugs or alcohol involved. The accident is under investigation.”
By Mark Gutglueck