Drivers may have noticed a change in speed limits on some Hanford streets the past couple of weeks, with an additional number of changes to come on Kings County roads as well.
Following a recent speed study done by the city, approximately 20 streets have seen reductions of mostly 5mph. Where roads have joint jurisdiction with the county, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously for the part of the roadways in its jurisdiction to follow suit.
“Every five years, the state requires the speed in the city to be reviewed for traffic patterns, etc.,” said Lisa Dock, deputy city engineer.
Speed limits are not arbitrary, they follow state regulations and recommendations, Dock explained.
They must follow “the intention of not setting a speed trap,” she said.
Generally, speed limits are based upon what speed seems comfortable for drivers to go and keep the flow of traffic in any given area.
Most of the speed reductions are for a 5mph decrease. The Hanford streets have recently seen new signage to indicate new speed limits, although there is nothing to specifically note that it has recently been reduced.
Only streets that display specific speed limits are changed, Dock said. Residential areas that all follow a 25mph speed limit, were not studied and remain the same.
On streets where part of the roadway is under city jurisdiction and part under county jurisdiction, the county is also lowering the speed limit, said Chief Engineer Dominic Tyburski. This involves nine roadways.
“Once they (Hanford) provided the data, the county did concur with their findings,” he said.
Some of these roads may go in and out of the city and county, while others may have one direction maintained by the city and the other by the county.
“It’s the speed they (drivers) are comfortable with, based on the average speed,” Tyburski said.
There is one roadway, Hanford-Armona Road, from 10th Avenue to east of 9 3/4 Avenue that sees a 15mph reduction, from 55 to 40mph.
On 13th Avenue, from Learning Center Drive to Lacey Boulevard and on Lacey Boulevard, from Ninth Avenue to SR43, each sees a 10mph reduction, from 50 to 40mph.
New speed limit signs for the county should be placed by mid-March.