Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Warning signs for speeders in San Clemente
San Clemente installs two permanent radar units on Avenida Vista Hermosa.
The Orange County Register

SAN CLEMENTE Drivers exceeding the 45 mph speed limit on Avenida Vista Hermosa can expect to see something new flashing at them in the windshield every day their speed.

The city of San Clemente has installed a pair of permanent solar-powered radar units that will measure each approaching vehicle's speed and display it. If it's excessive, the mph number will flash. Or the sign can even be programmed to say, "Slow down," said Akram Hindiyeh, city traffic engineer.

The radar displays cost the city about $20,000 each, Hindiyeh said. They replace a pair of trailer-mounted radar displays that have often appeared since 2005, when nearby resident Fred Price and more than 100 of his neighbors petitioned the city for relief from high speeds and traffic noise.

Besides the two permanent radar units on Vista Hermosa between Calle Frontera and Camino Vera Cruz, the city installed two others near Truman Benedict Elementary School. These permanent signs will free up the city's three trailer-mounted radar displays for more frequent deployment elsewhere in town, Hindiyeh said.

Price said he was sorry to see the trailer-mounted radar signs go, because they had a big impact on speed. He said he hopes the permanent displays will be as effective as the trailer-mounted ones parked in the road.

Price said he and other members of a neighborhood traffic committee met with city officials six or eight times in the past year and a half to discuss how to lower speeds.

They have asked the city to reduce the speed limit to 35 mph along that stretch of Vista Hermosa, a move that the city said would need to be consistent with how fast 85 percent of the people are going in radar surveys.

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