THOUSAND OAKS : Speed Limit Raise to Be Sought for Study

City traffic engineers will ask Thousand Oaks City Council members tonight to temporarily raise speed limits as much as 10 m.p.h. on some city streets so that they can conduct traffic studies.

Staffers said they are not trying to speed traffic up by boosting the limits. On the contrary, they hope to make it easier to slow traffic down.

California laws demand that speed limits be set at or near the average speed driven by 85% of drivers, on the grounds that the majority of people instinctively drive at a safe pace. The law was established to ensure that police do not use streets with low speed limits to set up speed traps.

As it stands now, Thousand Oaks has 49 streets where posted limits are 5 to 10 m.p.h. lower than what most people drive, city engineers determined in earlier studies. On those streets, police cannot use radar guns to enforce limits.

City engineers have picked out a sample of 10 streets in a variety of business and residential neighborhoods for the study. Once they establish the proper speed limit, police can begin using radar to ticket drivers there.

Selected streets include Duesenberg Drive between Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Hillcrest Drive; Willow Lane from Hampshire Road to Conejo School Road; Townsgate Road from Hampshire Road to Westlake Boulevard, and Gainsborough Road from Lynn Road to Camino Manzanas.

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