San Carlos Real Estate Agent, San Carlos Realtor Citizen Radar Patrol; Would it make sense in San Carlos? | The White Oaks Blog
Living in San Carlos May 4, 2008

Citizen Radar Patrol; Would it make sense in San Carlos?

by Chuck Gillooley

radar.jpg

In an effort to curb speeding on its fastest and busiest streets, The City of Burlingame is kicking off a very unique program where it will arm some its citizens with radar guns to clock speeders and gather data for further analysis by the Burlingame Police Department. The citizen patrol is not allowed to confront speeding drivers or issue citations, but the City will issues “carefully worded” letters to repeat offenders. Areas that are determined to have a high concentration of speeders will then get increased police presence — and then the citations will come. Here’s an article in the San Mateo Daily News with more info:

Burlingame Citizen Radar

San Carlos is no different from Burlingame in this respect — it has its share of busy thoroughfares that connect the residential areas to the main commute routes. In mornings and evenings, you can sit and watch traffic fly up and down these streets well in excess of the posted limit as people commute to work or head downtown. Having lived in White Oaks for 18 years, I have a pretty good idea which streets those are (I happen to live on one of them.)

Traditionally, The City of San Carlos has been very conservative on its effort to curb neighborhood speeding. The City Engineer is strongly opposed to inserting more stop signs to slow traffic on streets with chronic speeders. Instead, he has opted for the “round-abouts” that you see on Elm Street and the other on Howard Avenue. These do a wonderful job of directing traffic right toward anyone standing on the sidewalk, but do very little to slow speeders. The round-abouts have also had the undesirable effect of making it MORE difficult to cross the street at these intersections, since there’s no crosswalk and motorists often can’t see the pedestrians behind the round-about.

Requests to put speed bumps on certain streets have also been shot down by the city, despite the fact that neighboring communities like Belmont, Redwood City, and Menlo Park use them quite effectively in their high traffic areas.

So, does a citizen radar patrol make sense in San Carlos? Is the speeding problem big enough to justify such an effort? I’d be very interested to hear your point of view — just click comment button below and voice your opinion on this.
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Comments 2
  • Good for Burlingame. I would be the first volunteer if SC would do something like this. I was told my street had tried several years ago to come up with a solution to curb all the speeding on our street. (It is a short street and not considered a main thoroughfare, but is used as such.) The city was very unhelpful and the speeding continues. Our street has already experienced the death of a family pet, injury to another and a telephone pole car crash. (Yes, pets should be secured, but sometimes they escape.) We are scared a child will be next. Perhaps the City Engineer, who is apparently so opposed to creating safer streets, could adopt the citizen radar patrol if he needs more evidence to act.

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  • You’re right — the first step is to convince the City that a problem does indeed exist. When I complained in the past about speeders on my street, they would put a marked police car with radar in plain view in the street. This accomplished nothing since motorists could see the car in plenty of time so they can slow back down to the posted speed. As soon as the patrol stopped, the speeding resumed.

    A citizen radar program would at least give the Police Department TONS more data than they are currently able to gather on their own. And the data would be much more meaningful since it would be taken under “normal” circumstances…i.e. when there’s not a visible deterrent like a marked police cruiser.

    If a problem does indeed exist on a street, then they’ll have irrefutable data to convince them that they need to take the next step.

    Thanks for your comment.

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