Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino seeks traffic calming measures

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At the San Bernardino City Council meeting on Wednesday, August 15 an amendment of chapter 10.52 of the San Bernardino Municipal Code to Reduce the Speed Limit on Arrowhead Avenue between Highland Avenue and Thompson Place from 45 miles per hour to 40 miles per hour was discussed.

“Staff has re-evaluated speed limits on Arrowhead Avenue, they’ve conducted a new speed survey and are recommending that the speed limit be reduced by 5 mph on Arrowhead Avenue between Highland Avenue and Thompson Place, based on the re-evaluation,” said City Manager Andrea M. Miller.

Many residents on Arrowhead Avenue showed up to the council meeting and spoke during public comment.

“As a 43-year resident on Arrowhead Avenue, over the past year only 4 traffic citations have been issued on this street. The speed limit has not been adequately enforced. Since January 2018, two major accidents have occurred on my street. On March 11, 2018, my neighbor was severely injured as she left her driveway. This wasn’t just a simple fender bender. We are asking for a safe speed limit for the residents of 35 miles per hour,” said Katherine Beck.

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According to the city council report, “On September 6, 2016, the Mayor and City Council adopted Ordinance No. MC-1428, enacting speed limits on various city streets in accordance with California Vehicle Code. In response to the adopted ordinance, residents and Council requested an evaluation of the speed limit on Arrowhead Avenue between Highland Avenue and Thompson Place. The requestors feel that the existing 45 mph speed limit is excessive for this road segment that is almost entirely residential.”

During discussion between members of the council, Henry Nickel shared how roundabouts built in the city of Yucaipa helped enhance not only the city’s aesthetics, but have showcased proven success with its traffic safety.

“I think the city of Yucaipa spent quite a bit of money on Yucaipa Boulevard with roundabouts; its added to the city’s aesthetics and it’s gotten the residents to pay attention to the community and adds to the community pride in parts of the town that were at some point neglected,” Nickel said.

Council Member James Mulvihill suggested that maybe a bike lane would be helpful to the traffic issue.

“Even a bike lane would help narrowing the speed of the cars. If we’re going to be continuing this, I would like to make a motion to allow the City Manager an opportunity to look at the traffic calming techniques, given the fact that we could narrow the drivable portions of Arrowhead Avenue that would cause people to slow down. I’d like to move that portion of it,” said Mulvihill.

Mulvihill’s motion was seconded by Councilwoman Virginia Marquez.

“I think to the point of traffic calming, I would anticipate we’re a community that would qualify for road safety enhancements. We take a lot of pride in our homes as a community. We need to address the needs of the neighborhoods and put in some features that add to the aesthetics of the community. I’d like to look at a range of other options too,” concluded Nickel.

In a 6-0 vote, the motion passed to continue the item to allow staff to provide additional consideration of the warrants and return with recommendations based on that study and potential traffic calming measures.

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