Speed Limits/Speed Limit Signs:
The California Vehicle Code establishes prima facie speed limits for roadway types, including a maximum speed limit of 25 mph in residential and business districts. With very few exceptions, the City does not post speed limit signs on residential streets unless the approved speed limit varies from this prima facie speed. In other words, all residential streets have speed limits of 25 mph unless they are posted otherwise.
For larger streets, speed zone surveys are completed on regular intervals to determine the appropriate speed for the roadway. The California codes require that speed surveys be performed to collect actual speeds that drivers are traveling, this information is then used to determine how fast 85% of drivers travel. This 85th percentile is determined by the codes to be the speed limit that is reasonable and prudent. Maximum speed limits are based upon the 85th percentile speed with some variation based on road geometry and the presence of non-motorized users.
Radar Speed Limit Signs:
In the City of Woodland, the use of radar speed limit signs are reserved for use in school areas to raise awareness of speeds. To use them throughout town would reduce their effectiveness and would be extremely expensive. The cost to install one of the radar signs is between $20,000 and $100,000 depending on the power source and sign location.
A major challenge with speeding is the perception of speed. The closer you are to the street, or the louder the vehicle is, the faster they appear to be traveling. The best way to explain this is to think of a commercial airplane, in the sky they look like they are traveling very slowly when in fact they are traveling at close to 600 mph! In contrast, picture having your car breakdown on the freeway and having to stand next to the freeway waiting for a tow truck, those vehicles traveling 60-80 mph would feel like they were traveling much faster since your proximity to them is much less. We often find that our perceptions of travel speeds are significantly different than the measured speeds.
This is not to say there are no speeders out there, just that there may be fewer than we perceive. One immediate way to encourage others to slow down, is to drive slower yourselves. Driving at or just below the speed limit will raise awareness to others who may be unconsciously speeding. Also, getting to know your neighbors – since they are often the most likely culprits – can help raise neighborhood awareness and lower speeds.
If general awareness does not reduce the problem, speed and traffic enforcement is the responsibility of Woodland PD officers and they work very hard to monitor as much of town as possible. However, we appreciate your patience and understanding because over 200 miles of roadway and more than 13 schools in the City there is a lot of land to cover with only two traffic officers!
Requests for traffic calming can be made by contacting the Traffic Engineering division at 530-661-5820 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Traffic calming must meet warrants (minimum criteria) for installation and is not permitted on certain roadways for public safety and emergency response. The process for requesting traffic calming and petition forms can be obtained by contacting our staff.
Stop Sign Requests:
The installation of stop signs must meet warrants (minimum criteria) for installation to determine if traffic volumes and intersection history justify the sign. Stop signs are not a speed control or traffic calming measure and as such, speed is not a factor in determining if a stop sign is warranted. The process for evaluating a stop sign begins with a traffic volume study which can be requested by contacting the Traffic Engineering division at 530-661-5820 or via email at email@example.com.
Concerns about parking signs, curb paint or other parking issues and requests for changes to existing signs/striping, can be made by contacting the Traffic Engineering division at 530-661-5820 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have concerns about enforcement of, or compliance with, existing signs, curb paint or other markings, please contact Woodland Police Department for parking enforcement assistance at 661-7800.