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On the Road: Are Temecula Valley Wine Country tourists driving too slow?

By in Press Enterprise on July 23, 2017

By Amy Bentley

Q. Don Hansen called to ask, “Who do you call to get 55 mph painted in the road on Rancho California Road in Temecula Wine Country? Too many tourists are going 30-35 mph. They don’t know the speed limit.”

A. Riverside County maintains roads in the unincorporated area of Temecula Vallley Wine Country near Temecula, but as a practice, the Riverside County Transportation Department no longer paints speed limit markings on the pavement.

“We used to paint the speed limit on the pavement,” county traffic engineer Lawrence Tai said. “In the mid-1990s, when we looked for ways to cut the budget, we eliminated the painting. One of the reasons, obviously, was to save maintenance costs.”

He cited other reasons: to minimize the risk for crews painting in the middle of the traffic lane, to minimize the disruption to traffic flow due to maintenance of the markings and the pavement markings are less visible than speed limit signs. The county uses larger speed limit signs that are 36 inches by 48 inches for speed limits of 35 mph and up.

It’s likely tourists will drive more slowly than Wine Country residents would like because they’re sightseeing, Tai said.

“I would venture to say that the tourists are likely to be aware of the speed limit of 55 mph, but if they are looking for a destination, or not familiar with the surroundings, or purely just want to enjoy the view, they are going to drive slower, unlike residents who would like to get to where they want to go quicker,” he said.

Q. Corona resident Doug Williams asked about vehicles with off-road lights. He’s noticed a new type that is a light bar, usually the length of the vehicle’s width, and not covered. Recently, while driving on the Ramona Expressway, a car came towards Williams with its […]    

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