City of Bakersfield sets speed limits based on state law

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Although there are homes on each side of that stretch on Gosford, the speed limit is set at 55 miles an hour.

The city said they use a strict set of state guideline to determine what the speed limit for a section of road should be. And they said they can't deviate from that formula.

"A six lane roadway, by California Vehicle Code Definition, its maximum is 65," said Ryan Starbuck, a City of Bakersfield Traffic Engineer.

The city said they do regular surveys of traffic speed to determine if a speed limit needs to be adjusted.

"We go out and do a sampling of the traffic and you determine the 85th percentile speed of the traffic," said Starbuck. "That's just the speed at which 85 percent of the vehicles are traveling at or less."

They they round that number to the nearest five miles and hour and send the limit to city council for approval.

"We try to do every five years just to make sure we capture any growth or changes in patterns," said Starbuck.

Gosford was last studied in July 2009 and will be studied again soon because state law requires a study every seven years.

"When we take a look at the street segments, we take a look at the accidents," said Starbuck. "If there has been a high number, we will go back to see if they are speed related."

Police said since the first of the year, there have been 25 cases of reckless driving in Bakersfield.

They said 13 have been arrested for reckless driving and there have been three cases of reckless driving on Gosford.

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