BARSTOW — With more residents calling for the need to curb speeding on the city’s roadways, city officials are beginning to take note — and a plan for solutions may soon be underway.
During discussions on various topics at recent City Council meetings, speeding has begun to stand out. Planning Commissioners also discussed the matter after speeding concerns along First Street and Buena Vista Street, near Barstow High School, were addressed at their most recent meeting.
At the May 1 City Council meeting, speeding concerns were brought to the forefront after resident Mike Hernandez urged the Council to find a solution to people “going too fast on our streets.”
Hernandez and his wife, Mayor Pro Tem Carmen Hernandez, both commented on how a recent crash the couple was involved highlighted increased traffic issues in the city.
“We’ve been approached by people who told us about different areas they’ve seen accidents because people are going too fast,” Mike Hernandez said. “Can’t somebody come up with some sort of system to get these people to slow down?”
Consulting engineer Brad Merrell said the city has been taking traffic counts in the area near Barstow High School and expects to present the findings at the next street committee meeting.
“There are increased complaints about speeding in our city now that we have nice, paved streets,” Merrell said. “So, it’s going to be one of those things we’re going to have to start looking out for and taking case by case.”
While a new, smooth road may cause a driver to bump up their speed by a few notches, BPD Capt. Andrew Espinoza said the department has not necessarily seen an increase in speeding complaints recently. However, the department is committed to addressing these complaints when received.
“When we do receive complaints — whether criminal or traffic related — we collect data regarding the complaint, develop a plan, and respond with specific strategies to reduce the problem,” Espinoza said.
The captain said the department has conducted several traffic enforcement projects throughout the city in response to these complaints, which address factors such as speeding, school zone traffic violations, pedestrians, and distracted driving.
A possible solution in the form of speed bumps took form after the Mayor Pro Tem spoke about recently reading an article that discussed the use of speed bumps in Sweden.
“We’ve been told speed bumps are a liability, but Sweden is using it in a different way to slow down traffic,” Carmen Hernandez said. “They’re looking at it with a different perspective, and I think we might take that up in the next street committee meeting.”
That meeting, scheduled for June 7, will be the next opportunity for city officials to combat the issue, with Councilman Timothy Silva promising to address speeding and other traffic concerns there.