Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Santa Ana Speedway

The speed limit on Santa Ana Boulevard is a clearly posted 35mph, but rarely do those that drive on it observe it. I personally think it should be lowered to 25mph, and for good reason.

Over the past two years, I’ve seen a good amount of traffic accidents occurring within 100 yards of my front door. I attribute these frequent incidents to two things:

  1. Most people don’t know how to drive

  2. Drivers see the Boulevard as a Speedway

With that said, another accident occurred on East Santa Ana Boulevard yesterday around 6:30PM–this one involving a teenage kid on a bike and an OCTA bus.

This accident marks roughly the fifth accident that I’ve seen since on the “raceway” since July of this year, and it was probably the most nerve rattling one I’ve seen in a while. There’s no sound, doesn’t matter what language you speak, like the sound of a mother screaming out “Mi Niño, Mi Niño" (my boy, my boy)!

(And though some of you may think that I’m a sadistic ghoul for taking photos at accident scenes, these photographs will be instrumental in convincing city engineers, police, traffic departments and council members that steps will need to be taken to facilitate a reduction in speed on Santa Ana Boulevard. A picture truly is worth a thousand words.)

A few months back after this accident, I put a call into SAPD requesting an officer to sit out on Poinsettia Street and do nothing but write tickets in an effort to control the speeds that go unchecked in our neighborhood.

No response.

In addition, a recent request to speak with a city engineer about many of my traffic and parking concerns around the Santiago Street Lofts continues to go unanswered. Go figure.

Hopefully, an upcoming pow-wow with our most-elusive mayor will yield better results–it is an election year after all.

So just how fast are these commuters driving down Santa Ana Boulevard? Well, according to my very affordable and quite accurate Hot Wheels radar gun, a decent amount of the drivers are obeying the speed limit, but the majority of people I've tracked using this gun were driving an average of 40mph, but some have exceeded that number by an additional 20mph!

Just this morning, I stepped out to grab some readings during the off-peak hours. The slowest speed I captured was 39mph as these drivers darted west into the high-density neighborhood that borders the Speedway.

Even now as I write this post, commuters are making their mad dash from downtown as the mass exodus of Santa Ana begins.

It’s only a matter of time until one of these drivers ends up crashing through my front door.

" need to pump your brakes and drive slow homie".


Anonymous said...

The greater downtown area is changing and moving to a more friendly pedestrian / bicycle movement.

I too would like to see a drop in the speed limits and greater enforcement.

Santa Ana Boulevard is driven on like it is an extension of the freeway just like my North Broadway next to 2 grade schools and a high school and more pedestrians than you can shake a stick at.

Unknown said...

Hi Ben, my name is Cedric Volk; I am a resident of the Santiago St Lofts and I am putting together a website about the upcoming low-income apartment complex being built across the street from us.

If you don't mind I linked to your blog article in mine:

Do you think you might help our site earn some links? We are trying to put together some groundswell on the issue.



Ben Dayhoe said...

Sure thing Cedric.
As for me, I'm 50/50 on this development, but share the same concerns as most of the residents in the lofts, as well as in the neighboring Logan community.

Thanks for stopping by!