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Lathrop looks to reduce speed limits

Several years ago, the Lathrop City Council voted to drop the speed limit on Lathrop Road from 50 miles per hour down to 35 miles per hour – even though doing so was not enforceable under the city’s traffic study. 

But this time with Louise Avenue as the focal point, the Lathrop City Council’s decision to potentially cut back the maximum speed from 50 miles per hour down to 45 miles per hour will have the required study to back it – meaning that Lathrop Police Services will legally be able to use radar and other speed-detection devices to enforce the posted speed limit. 

And it appears the council is taking aim at a number of heavily traveled routes with speed limits above what the most recent traffic study says is safe. 

In addition to Louise Avenue from Harlan Road to 5th Street, the council will decide on whether to cut down the speed limit on Harlan Road Roth Road to Slate Street from 50 miles per hour down to 45 miles per hour, Johnson Ferry Road from Colonial Trail and Golden Spike Trail from 35 miles per hour down to 30 miles per hour, and Roth Road between I-5 and the eastern city limits from 40 miles per hour down to 35 miles per hour – all routes that have been an increase in the volume of traffic since the last traffic engineering study was completed in April of 2016. 

While traffic surveys can be valid for up to 10 years, the city had to commission a new study of 17 of its existing streets after only three years because of significant changes to the volume of traffic on those streets. By tailoring speed limits to the 85th percentile of measured traffic during a period of observation during the engineering and traffic study, city officials hope to reduce both the probability and severity of crashes on the streets that are being studied. 

If approved by the council – which meets on the second Monday of the month at Lathrop City Hall, located at 390 Towne Centre Drive, at 7 p.m. – the changes in the speed limit would cost the city roughly an extra $3,500 to change the existing speed limit signs. 

For additional information about the upcoming meeting of the Lathrop City Council, or to obtain a copy of the agenda, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at 

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.