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Eureka City Council approves speed limit changes

EUREKA- The Eureka City Council voted to lower the speed limit on several stretches of road in the city.

City staff proposed the speed limits on B Street, Buhne Street, California Street, Campton Road, Dolbeer Street, E Street, Glen Street, H Street, I Street, M Street, Myrtle Avenue, 7th Street, 8th Street and Union Street to be lowered five miles per hour. However, Harrison Avenue south of Harris Street will go up by five miles per hour. All of the new speed limits will be posted by the beginning of May.  State law requires speed limits must match the current speed that 85 percent of commuters drive, regardless of posted limits, except in areas such as residential neighborhoods or school zones.  The city determined that these 14 stretches of road must get lower speed limits after tracking how fast motorists drive on these streets.

"We think this is a direct outcome of the effort that we in the city have expanded in bringing more awareness to traffic safety, people paying more attention while they're driving, staying off their cell phones and that kind of thing and slowing down.  Because people have actually responded positively by slowing down, we are now able to reduce the speeds," said Charles Roecklein, the City Engineer for the City of Eureka.

Also at Tuesday night’s meeting, the Council unanimously voted to move forward with a state program designed to provide financing to increase energy efficiency for property owners in the city,  called the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program. PACE finances upgrades in energy and water efficiency, as well as renewable energy products for residential and commercial buildings.  City employees say PACE will lower Eureka’s greenhouse gas emissions and cost Eureka nothing.  The Council recently voted to allow two PACE loan providers to operate within city limits, and on Tuesday night, they voted to allow a third.  Staff expects the council to approve the final two PACE loan providers at the next meeting.

"What that will do for the city is create jobs for contractors who provide energy efficiency and installation energy systems as well as make those sorts of systems more affordable for residents of the city," said Robert Holmlund, the Director of Community Development for the City of Eureka.