Speed limits will be changing in Lathrop.
On Monday the Lathrop City Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that will increase the speed limit on 10 streets and decrease it on six more. Thirty-three of the sixty streets that were surveyed will remain at the same posted speed.
Twenty streets that were not previously surveyed will now be posted according to the 85th percentile of average driving speed of motorists – the threshold that will allow Lathrop Police Services to use radar to enforce the speed limit.
Four of the main thoroughfares in Lathrop that are currently listed as 50 miles per hour – Howland Road from Louise Avenue to D’Arcy Parkway, Louise Avenue from I-5 to Harlan Road, Manthey Road from the city limits to Mossdale Park and Manthey Road from Stewart Road to Mossdale Park – will be reduced. The speed in these areas will drop to 45 miles per hour except for the Manthey Road segment from Stewart Road to Mossdale Park, which will be 40 miles per hour.
The other major speed limit decreases will be D’Arcy Parkway from Yosemite Avenue to Christopher Way, which will drop from 40 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour.
Only two segments of Lathrop Road will increase by more than five miles per hour – raising the stretch from 5th Street east to the Lathrop City Limits from 35 miles per hour up to 45 miles per hour. Slate Street, Stonebridge and Opal will increase from 25 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour, Manthey Road from Towne Cente Drive will increase from 40 miles per hour up to 45 miles per hour and Inland Passage Way from Salder Oak Drive to Open Range way will increase from 25 miles per hour up to 30 miles per hour.
Most of the discussion by the council pertained to the changes to Louise Avenue and Spartan Way, which currently features various speed limit signs but has never actually been surveyed. The speed limit will now be set 35 miles per hour expect for when children are present, which makes it a school zone and drops the speed limit down to 25 miles per hour.
It will cost the City of Lathrop roughly $10,000 to implement the new changes and purchase the new signs and posts, which staff believes could be installed with the next few weeks.
According to City Engineer Glen Gebhardt, the state’s reasoning behind setting the speed limits at the 85th percentile is because that is typically the safe speed of what motorists will travel on a given roadway. When the council opts to go with a slower speed for appearances – like they did when they dropped the speed limit on Lathrop Road several years ago despite the survey had said – then safety issues come into play because if somebody is driving slower than the average rate of traffic they’re also posing a problem similar to those that drive faster than the posted speed limit.