Officials discuss traffic on Sandia Drive


September 29, 2019

CLOVIS — The figures say one thing, the residents say something else. It will take some additional review before more action can come to a stretch of road in northwest Clovis.

Officials in the city’s Public Works Committee meeting on Wednesday discussed traffic control on Sandia Drive, following reports of chronic speeding motorists from residents near the road’s 500 block. Traffic Superintendent Kevin Musick gave a detailed presentation on patterns at the 100 and 300 block of the road and said the average speed there is 22 westbound and 21 miles per hour eastbound, respectively. In both cases that’s less than the statute-mandated speed limit of 30 miles per hour in unmarked residential areas. Additional figures show that 85% of motorists drove at or below that speed limit in those portions of the road, Musick added. It’s a relatively narrow street, especially if cars are parked on either side.

Musick said those sections of the road were analyzed rather than the 500 block because they represent the portion between intersections and road control signage where motorists had the most opportunity to pick up speed. Residents attending the meeting said the speeding was still particularly bad between La Fonda Road and North Thornton Street. The committee determined it would ask Clovis Police to increase patrol in that area before conducting another study or considering placing a speed hump, which would be costly and come with its own drawbacks in noise and nuisance for regular commuters.

It may be that speed complaints are attributable to a small portion of problem drivers not captured in the traffic superintendent’s study.

“No matter what we do, you’re always going to have people that are not going to abide by the signs and not going to abide by the law,” Musick added.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting:

• Discussion on the possibility of prohibiting U-Turns at 21st and Prince streets going west-bound, noting the challenges or in some cases impossibility of larger vehicles making the turn in one motion. The high-traffic intersection is constrained by space, officials said, and surrounding businesses would likely object to additional restrictions on vehicle movements and access even as changes could reduce collision incidents in the area. Howalt said the intersection and its challenges are “something that we’ve looked at for years, but there hasn’t ever been an appetite from the public to make that change.”

No action was taken on the discussion item.

• Public input from Brittany Crone, who said she was concerned about the mid-road crosswalk on North Norris Street accessing Zia Elementary School. Crone said she had seen “children almost hit by cars numerous times” and even on one occasion “almost saw a crossing guard taken out.” The speed limit there is 45 miles per hour, and officials said they would also ask police to keep an eye on the area before pursuing the more costly proposition of installing a pedestrian-operated crosswalk light, the estimated $60,000 cost of which would be split by the city and the school district.

• The next meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 23.


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