Members of the Newport Beach City Council expressed frustration — as did several members of the community — about a plan to increase speed limits on some stretches of roadway, including along East Coast Highway by the Cameo neighborhoods. But in the end, the council members voted unanimously to adopt the increases with a plan to review the Cameo area and three others to see if speeds could be adjusted in the future.
"This is one of those issues that infuriates the public," said Councilman Keith Curry. "We don't necessarily think this is the right thing to do either. It's what we're compelled to do by California law."
California's Vehicle Code and guidelines created by Caltrans require cities to take regular traffic surveys at least every seven to 10 years, and to adjust speed limits to the 85th percentile, or the speed at or below which 85% of traffic moves. The latest survey of 99 streets resulted in no changes for 63 segments, 5 mph increases for 34 segments, a 5 mph drop on Bayside Drive near Balboa Island, and increases for the rest.