Q What's up with the speed limits in Fremont? I've noticed numerous roads where the limit has been increased, such as on sections of Washington Boulevard, Stevenson Boulevard and Alvarado Niles Road, where it's now 40 mph instead of 35. The limit has also gone up on one stretch of Paseo Padre Parkway, 30 to 35, and 45 to 50 in another. Then a section of Mowry Avenue near Washington hospital decreased from 40 to 35. Who do we pat on the back for these great changes?
Q Caltrans, it seems. Two years ago the state adopted a new traffic policy, one affecting how cities set speed limits if they intend to use radar on those streets. Under the old rules, a speed survey had to be undertaken and the speed limit was determined by the 85th percentile rule the speed at or below which 85 percent of traffic is moving. Under the old guidelines, the speed limit was set at the first 5 mph increment below the 85th percentile. But under new rules, the speed limit is now set to the nearest 5 mph increment. So, for example, if the 85th percentile was 38 mph, the limit would now be 40 mph instead of 35. Fremont lowered the speed limit on 49 sections of roads and raised it on 17 others. Cities are required to conduct speed surveys every seven years, and you can expect similar changes elsewhere.