Speed reduced for "Senior Zone" on Encinitas street - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Speed reduced for "Senior Zone" on Encinitas street

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ENCINITAS (CBS 8) – Change has come to a stretch of road in Encinitas in hopes of making it safer for seniors.

Drivers on Saxony Road have been warned for weeks they are entering a “senior zone”, a rare speed zone in the county that acts much like a school zone where the speed limit is 25 mph. 


On Wednesday the City of Encinitas officially launched the speed zone on Saxony Road between Seacrest Way and Silver Berry Place.

“We don't walk very fast, we don't drive very fast but the others that do make it very difficult for us,” said Susan Sobel, Seacrest Village resident.

The 71-year-old who lives at  Seacrest Village in Encinitas, with 250 seniors in the retirement community, she uses a walker to get around. Many of the residents are in their 90's and use the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA across the street.

"We're clinching it (walker) and (breaths heavy) to get across fast enough,” said Sobel.

Now the speed limit on Saxony dropped from 40 mph to 25 mph in the senior zone. Unlike a school zone, the slower speed limit is in place all day.

"25 miles-per-hour is like a dream come true,” said Sobel.

A dream that is been in the making for years. Seacrest Village teamed up with the YMCA to work with the City of Encinitas on traffic calming devices on Saxony.

“It is very exciting to see the signs come up and now we ask the community respect the signs respect the speed limit,” said Bradley Blose, CPA, V.P. at Seacrest Village.

Sylvia DeMuth pulled over to tell CBS News 8 she is relieved the city listened put in a senior zone to keep everyone safe in the neighborhood.

“My husband and I just resorted to driving to the Y which is crazy when we live two blocks away because it's hard to cross the street,” said DeMuth. “It got to be a tremendous problem and so we are delighted."

It will get much easier and safer when the city installs an LED crosswalk on Saxony at SeaCrest Way this summer. Crews installed a new one on Quail Gardens Drive at Ecke Ranch Road.

The YMCA and Seacrest Village donated $10,000 each for the crosswalk that will light up and flash when someone pushes the button to cross. The city will pay the remaining $100,000.

“The community as well who are crossing the road to enjoy the benefits of the Y and access the bus stop,” said Blose.

This type of access seniors and families say is needed to keep everyone safe.

“We are very grateful because it makes our life a lot easier,” said Sobel.

A spokesperson for the San Diego Sheriff's Department says the grace period to warn drivers is over and deputies will start ticketing for speeding violations. The city says if drivers are going 26 mph to 40 mph in the senior zone could receive a $238 ticket, if drivers are going 41 mph to 50 mph they could be ticketed and receive a $367 fine and if drivers are caught going 51 mph or higher could pay a $490 fine.

The city is also installing 8 vehicle feedback signals at a cost of $5,000 each. The signals will be installed on Saxony and Quail Gardens Drive in about three weeks.
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