In September 2021 Canyon Drive resident David King made an impassioned plea for the city to do something about speeding in his residential neighborhood north of Hatch Road.
It was nearly déjà vu last week when a frustrated King again brought his concerns to the dais and delivered a scary picture of how some freewheeling youthful drivers are treating his street like a race course.
“I cannot even let my own child play out in my front yard,” King told the council. “My neighbors that have children, I don’t see them out front playing.”
King said he’s called Ceres Police numerous times and they are responsive but cannot do anything unless the officer witnesses the speed.
He stated that he has stepped out in front of cars speeding at 50 mph in front of Virginia Parks Elementary School as kids were crossing in the crosswalk. “And most of these people are mothers even driving, young kids in their Mustangs, their Camaros, flying up and down my street, stopping in front of my house, waving at me and spinning their tires because they know I’m going to call Ceres PD.”
He said the speeding is so prevalent that he won’t let his son walk to school and cross Canyon Drive or Moffet Road where the school is located.
King reported that someone in the city engineering department clocked one driver doing 74 mph in the 45 mph speed limit zone. He also reported seeing a Cadillac spinning donuts on the street.
“I spent 23 years of my life in foreign countries defending this country only to come back here to find this on my own street? That angers me! I want my street to be just as safe, but it’s not safe.”
He called for the council to hire more police officers.
Speed bumps are not an option, the city told King.
Councilman Mike Kline said he feels for King and wondered about possible traffic calming devices paid for by Safe Routes to School money.
“Something’s got to be done because, really, I agree with you it’s gotten out of hand,” said Kline, who suggested that speeding in Ceres has grown worse over the past 30 years.
The councilman called for a report back on June 27.
Numerous other residents have reported problems with speeders, particularly since the pandemic.
Last week the council approved the use of up to $50,000 to buy three speed radar trailers for a cost of $27,310 from Applied Concepts, Inc./Stalker Radar.
Ceres Police Department’s two trailers are 10 years old and will become obsolete due to the unavailability of parts and lack of service to maintain or repair them. At least one trailer is in constant use in neighborhoods in response to citizen complaints about speeding. Having three additional trailers will allow the Traffic Unit to respond to more online requests for a speed trailer.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the use of the Dynamic Speed Monitoring Display (DSMD) in speed trailers – which measure the speed of an approaching vehicles and feed the information back to the driver in real time via a dynamic message display – have been shown to be an effective for short-term speed control. However, experience has shown that as soon as the device is removed, speeds soon return to their previous levels.