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Red Light for Speeders

The City of Pleasanton, CA has installed a traffic signal which switches to a red light if a driver is speeding.

I visited this signal to observe how it works:

It is installed at Montevino & Vineyard Streets in Pleasanton. Vineyard is a wide residential boulevard with a center median with trees. There is one lane in each direction, bike lanes, and an additional turn lane in each direction at the intersection. Montevino Drive is a neighborhood street.

Intersection of Vineyard Avenue and Montevino Drive Approaching Intersection

Vineyard Avenue in Pleasanton, CA showing its intersection with Montevino Drive. A small, center traffic island separates lanes at the entrance to Montevino Drive.
(click to enlarge)

Vineyard Avenue after it passes Montevino Drive. Note the radar cameras mounted on the intersection light.
(click to enlarge)

The speed limit on Vineyard is 35 mph. There are radar guns mounted on the light poles at the intersection and additional radar guns pointed toward oncoming vehicles about a hundred yards before the intersection. Sight lines along Vineyard are very good.

Electronic sign reading speed limit 35 sign reads signal timed for 35 mph

The posted speed limit on Vineyard is 35 mph.
(click to enlarge)

Motorists are given fair warning that the signal is timed for 35 mph. This sign is more than 100 yards before the intersection..
(click to enlarge)

The speed limit is posted and also painted on the pavement. An electronic sign about 100 yards before the intersection provides feedback to drivers regarding their actual speed. If drivers exceed the speed limit by more than 5 mph, they trigger a red light (preceded by a yellow light).

Electronic Traffic Signal Reads Your Speed 38 Radar Gun Mouned on Light Standard

An electronic sign apprises drivers of their speed as they approachthe intersection.
(click to enlarge)

Radar guns are mounted on the light standards and monitor speed in all directions approaching the intersection.
(click to enlarge)

Electronic Sign Reads Your Speed 44

This driver will trigger a red light because his speed is 44 mph.
(click to enlarge)

Jeff Knowles, Traffic Engineer for the City of Pleasanton, told me that they have "received nothing but compliments" about this signal. He is considering installing another one at a different intersection. Alameda County is also planning one modeled after the first one in Pleasanton. Knowles cautioned that not all intersections were appropriate for this type of light.

Do you think such a signal would be a good idea in Santa Cruz? Where would you suggest installing one? Email your suggestions to!






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Mission Pedestrian
Steering Committee

Debbie Bulger
Cindy Geise
George Ow, Jr.
Emily Reilly
Peter Scott
Vicki Winters




Mission Pedestrian, 1711 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
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Last updated on Thursday, 03-Mar-2005 11:01:25 PST