MARYSVILLE -- The vast majority of drivers headed into Marysville from Highway 70 north are going 20 miles over the speed limit, according to Caltrans.
Who’s not guilty of pushing the speed limit once in a while? However, when once in a while becomes regularly, and 85 percent of drivers are guilty, technically the law is supposed to change to suit the offenders.
“We consider this a democratic process, motorists set the speed limit,” said Gilbert Mohtes-Chan with Caltrans.
Every seven years, the law requires Caltrans to study speed limits to make sure they accurately reflect the way people are driving. According to Caltrans, this is how they make sure speed limits are enforceable and prove their speed limits are not arbitrary. Changes in speed limits are still restricted to statewide maximums. A study of Highways 70 and 20, into and through Marysville, showed six areas where drivers regularly move faster than posted speed limits.
“Based on 85 percent of the motorists driving at a certain speed, that will, drivers will determine what the speed is,” said Mohtes-Chan.
As a result, Caltrans is proposing 5 to 10 mph increases on Highway 20 on the 10th Street Bridge, E to B street and Ramirez to Buchanan. On Highway 70 there would be 10 mph increases between First and Ninth, and 18th and 24th. The biggest change would be between Beal Road and First Street where northbound 70 starts to lead into a Marysville city street. The Caltrans proposal would take the 45 mph speed limit up to 65 mph entering town.
“I don’t know if they’ve considered the amount of time it takes to stop,” said Marysville Mayor Ricky Samayoa.
Samayoa joins the Marysville City Council in opposing the speed increases.
“I just think it’s creating a lot more danger than they’re really considering,” said Samayoa.
He’s particularly concerned with a residential transition between a Marysville city street and open highway.
Most residents we spoke to living along Highway 20 agreed that the stretch between Ramirez and Buchanan is already too much of a danger. They oppose even the 5 mph proposed speed increase.
“They’re already going 45, now they’ll go 50,” said Reed.
However Tommy Delozier, who walks the stretch in question with his step-son believes increasing the speed limit in areas where highway meets city streets will eliminate speed traps.
“ I think it’s a win-win, pick it up, let's go,” said Deloizer.
Marysville city leaders have a week to submit their recommendations to Caltrans who will make a decision from there.