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After a number of accidents, some involving fatalities, the speed limit of a portion of Highway 246 will be lowered. According to Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk, the 2.3-mile segment of Highway 246 between the Janin Acres neighborhood and Meadowvale Road will be reduced to 45 mph from its current speed of 55 mph.
Due to the residents’ complaints, Caltrans prepared an engineering and traffic survey to determine if the speed limit could be lowered below the 55 mph statutory level, Caltrans is required to do a survey such as this, to justify a new speed limit. The new speed limit will take effect once the 45 mph signs have been installed, says Caltrans District 5 spokesman, Jim Shivers.
This section of road is busy since it includes El Rancho Market, Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, Santa Ynez Valley Christian Academy, the Chumash Casino Resort, and roads leading into downtown Santa Ynez. When students are present, the speed limit still will be 25 mph near the schools.
A tragic March accident widen the focus to low speed, after Santa Ynez Valley Union High School freshman Carina Velazquez was fatally injured after she was struck by a vehicle in front of the campus. The driver wasn’t charged after the investigation determined she was not at fault for accident.
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