Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 26, 2013

The need for speed

Filed under: Alameda, Public Resources, Transportation — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

Yesterday the City sent out a press release about the recent enforcement that has been done around traffic. Given how folks have been commenting on speeding lately, it’s a timely bit of data they have produced.  According to the press release in a two week period the Police Department issued 420 violations which is around 30 violations a day.

The majority, of course, were for speeding.   I’m sure everyone is shocked about that, but with an nearly island wide 25 MPH zone, on some stretches — I’m looking at you Otis between Grand and 8th — the speed creeps up ever so quickly on the super wide streets.

Also not any surprise but the three top locations where the majority of citations were issued were:

  1. Otis Drive (56)
  2. Fernside Boulevard (52)
  3. Constitution Way (28)

Constitution is a particularly sketchy stretch, I’ve been passed not once but twice by cars who veered into ongoing traffic because going 25 mph was not fast enough for their liking.   Fernside I’m surprised by the number of violations, but I’m not familiar with that stretch as much as the two others.

Here is the breakdown:

Violations 9/24 – 10/08/2013
Speeding 232
Insurance 54
Using a cell phone 49
Stop Lamp Requirements 32
Disobey Posted Sign 30
Stop Sign 23
Total 420







The press release pointed out that some of the violations were for people driving in excess of 50 mph in the 25 of 30 mph zones. Not that shocking. When Stargell had the radar truck out for a few weeks the speeds were around 40 – 45 mph with no slowing down, even when confronted with the speed on the radar. I guess some people really just do not care.



  1. I’m generally pretty good about the 25 limit on smaller streets but can be easy to slip out of range on wider streets, as our blogmistress suggests. Solution: I often use cruise control on Otis, Fernside, etc. Works like a charm.

    Comment by dave — November 26, 2013 @ 6:58 am

  2. There’s no reason, except traffic ticket revenue, for a street like Stargell to not have a higher speed limit. Virtually no pedestrians or cross streets. I think parts of Otis and Fernside as well. Intelligent policymaking would note where people routinely “vote with their accelerator feet”, see if accident rates are significantly higher there, and (if not) look seriously at raising the limit.

    Comment by Jack Mingo — November 26, 2013 @ 10:11 am

  3. I believe proximity to residences are the reasons for the lower speeds. Otis has schools (Lum and Wood) which makes crossing Otis a rather regular occurrence. Stargell has a schools on one side and a significant population crosses that road from Coast Guard Housing and Shinsei Gardens to Ruby Bridges and the Academy of Alameda.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 26, 2013 @ 10:20 am

    • If only they could invent some sort of contraption — perhaps a sign with a blinking light that says something like SCHOOL ZONE SPEED LIMIT 25 WHEN STUDENTS ARE PRESENT — that could solve that problem in the hour each day when that would be an issue. But maybe that’s just a crazy dream.

      Comment by Jack Mingo — November 26, 2013 @ 10:31 am

  4. The city keeps only a small portion of speeding ticket revenue. My memory says it’s 25% but whatever the number, it isn’t much of a revenue producer, as county keeps most. Parking tickets are different, city keeps all, which is why both fines and enforcement have increased so sharply.

    Also, Fernside is almost 100% residential and Otis is predominantly so. That is reason enough for 25mph.

    Comment by dave — November 26, 2013 @ 10:34 am

  5. meant to say “almost 100% residential and school”

    Comment by dave — November 26, 2013 @ 10:34 am

  6. There are also noise issues that arise with higher speeds, I believe the trade off for not erecting a wall on the Stargell side of Bayport was because the speed would remain at 25 MPH. Given that visibility to turn out of Bayport both right and left onto Stargell, increasing the speed would make it even tough and would probably warrant a stop light or stop signs which would slow down traffic even more than the 25 MPH speed limit. As it is it doesn’t take that long to travel the stretch between 5th and Main Street at 25 MPH, I’m not quite sure why there would be a need to increase the speed limit.

    Stargell crossings occur all day long. Before school. After the school bell rings. During pick up time for after school programs. After sports programs have ended. On weekends when kids head to the park and playground.

    Not to mention the fact that Stargell between 5th and Main does not have a dedicated bike lane. Increased speeds would make it hostile to bikers who use that stretch.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 26, 2013 @ 10:42 am

  7. The press release says the City only keeps 12-16% of the fine.

    Comment by Lauren Do — November 26, 2013 @ 10:45 am

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