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A common belief is that posting a speed limit will influence drivers to drive at that speed. The facts indicate otherwise. Research conducted in many parts of this country over a span of several decades has shown that drivers are influenced more by the appearance of the highway itself and the prevailing traffic conditions than by the posted speed limit. California's Basic Speed Law requires that:
"No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is responsible or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property."
Under California law, the maximum speed limit for any passenger vehicle is now 65 miles per hour (MPH). All other speed limits are called prima facie limits, which "on the face of it" are safe and prudent under normal conditions. Certain prima facie limits are established by law and include the 25 MPH limit in business and residential districts, the 15 MPH limit in alleys, at blind intersections and blind railroad crossings and a part-time 25 MPH limit in school zones when children are going to and from school. These speeds are not always posted but all California motorists are required to know these 10, 20, and 30 mile per hour speed laws.
Intermediate speed limits between 25 and 55 miles per hour may be established by local authorities on the basis of traffic engineering surveys. These surveys include an analysis of roadway conditions, accident records, and the prevailing speed, or 85th percentile, of prudent drivers. If speed limit signs are posted for a lower limit than is considered reasonable, many drivers will simply ignore the signs. At the same time, other drivers will stay within the posted limits. This generally increases the conflicts between faster and slower drivers, reduces the gaps in traffic through which crossings could be made safely and increases the difficulty for pedestrians to judge the speed, of approaching vehicles. Studies have shown that where uniformity of speed is not maintained, accidents generally increase.
The entire City is a C Zone (no floods). No A or B Zones:
If you need a letter for your insurance company, call Administration and Engineering at 650-616-7065.
Traffic signals don't always prevent accidents. They are not always an asset to traffic control. In some instances, total accidents and severe injuries increased after signals were installed. Usually, in such instances, right angle collisions were reduced by the traffic signals, but the total number of collisions, especially the rear-end type, increased.
There are times when the installation of signals results in an increase in the number of pedestrian accidents. Many pedestrians feel secure with a painted crosswalk and a red light between them and an approaching vehicle. The motorist, on the other hand, is not always so quick to recognize these "barriers."
When can a traffic signal be an asset instead of a liability to safety? In order to answer this, traffic engineers have to ask and answer a series of questions:
For additional questions about traffic signals or other traffic-calming measures, please contact Engineering at 650-616-7065.
Basic responsibility for sidewalk repair rests with the adjacent property owner. However, there are some instances-such as when a City tree or utility line caused damage to a sidewalk - that the City would make the repairs. For more information, contact Engineering at 650-616-7065.
For more information on street sweeping, visit the Street Sweeping Schedule page.
An encroachment permit is needed anytime you wish to perform any work or store any item in the public right-of-way. This is the area outside your property that generally includes the sidewalk, curb and gutter, planting strip, driveway cut to your property and the street. An encroachment permit is not only the mechanism by which you gain permission to do work in the right-of-way, but it also assures that your work will be inspected to established standards and, upon acceptance, protects you from potential liability that may otherwise come about by substandard or unauthorized work.
For more information about the encroachment permit and general requirements, visit the Permits page.
If you notice a water main break, please call 650-616-7160 immediately. Do not use the 'Contact Us' or Customer Request Portal.
The City maintains everything up to and including the water meter, therefore, we must have free access. It is illegal to obstruct City access with landscaping, fences, planters, parked vehicles, and the like. It is illegal to enter the City's water meter box for any reason. The property owner must provide a separate shut-off valve between the City meter and the building being serviced. The property owner is responsible for all maintenance within the property.
Bikeways have raised a lot of interest in the past few years. Some cities have built separate off-road bike paths. Many more have painted bike lanes on streets. Others have installed green "Bike Route" signs promoting designated bikeways.
Unfortunately, the cost of both building and maintaining bikeways can be a deterrent. Initial cost can range from a few thousand dollars to paint a lane to a small fortune to build a separate path, including special bridges where needed. The City of San Bruno has established a Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee to tackle some of these issues and has also commenced the development of a Walk n' Bike Plan. For more information, please visit the Community Development Department page.
The posting of generalized warning signs with "SLOW," "CHILDREN AT PLAY," or other similar messages is an often heard neighborhood request. Parental concern for the safety of children in the street near home is often the prompt for these requests, but this widespread public faith in traffic signs is misguided. The times in which such a sign is applicable are infrequent to the point where such signs are ignored by regular drivers. Worse yet, these signs often create a false sense of security for children and parents.
Although some other states have posted such signs widely in residential areas, no factual evidence has been presented to document their success in reducing pedestrian accidents, operating speeds or legal liability. Studies have shown that many types of signs attempting to warn of normal conditions in residential areas have failed to achieve the desired safety benefits. If signs falsely encourage parents and children to believe they have an added degree of protection, a great disservice results.
Because of these serious considerations, California does not recognize, and Federal Standards discourage, use of "Children at Play" signs. Children should be encouraged not to play in the street. Warning signs to the contrary have long been rejected since they are a direct and open suggestion that this behavior is acceptable.
A stop sign is one of our most valuable and effective traffic control devices when used at the right place and under the right conditions. It is intended to help drivers and pedestrians negotiate an intersection by assigning the right-of-way.
Most drivers are reasonable and prudent in following posted traffic regulations; however, when an unreasonable restriction is imposed by placement of an unwarranted stop sign, it may result in flagrant violations. In such cases, the stop sign can create a false sense of security to a pedestrian and an attitude of contempt by a motorist. These two attitudes can and often do conflict with tragic results.
Where stop signs are installed for speed control, there is a high incidence of intentional violation. In those locations where vehicles do stop, the speed reduction is effective only in the immediate vicinity of the stop sign, and frequently speeds are actually higher between intersections. For these reasons, a stop sign should not be used as a speed control device.
Well-developed, nationally recognized guidelines help to indicate when such controls become necessary. These guidelines take into consideration the volume of traffic, sight distance, accident history, and the frequency of other existing stop controls.
You can download the Transportation Permit Application (PDF). Fax the completed form to 650-794-1443.
Sandbags can be obtained from the Fire Department at 555 El Camino Real. For information or availability, please call 650-616-7096.
You may report a streetlight outage by using the Streetlight Reporting Form or by calling our Corporation Yard at 650-616-7160. Please be as specific as possible in the information you provide (e.g., exact location, pole number if available and problem condition-off, on and off, day burner, etc.)
You can use the Reporting Form or call our Corporation Yard at 650-616-7160. For potholes, sidewalks, and road signs, we're interested in precise location and brief description (potholes-size and depth; sidewalks-tripping hazard, size of lift, street tree involvement; road signs-pole down, sign damaged, graffiti, sign turned, etc.).
Please call 650-616-7160 immediately if your sewer is backed up. Do not use the Contact Us forms or San Bruno Responds.
The City's Traffic Engineer is available to consider traffic suggestions by phone at 650-616-7065 or by letter addressed to:City of San BrunoTraffic Engineer567 El Camino RealSan Bruno, CA 94066
Depending upon the nature of your suggestion, it may first need to be reviewed by the Traffic Safety and Parking Committee (TSPC) prior to implementation. This is a standing Committee of citizens appointed by the City Council, that meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 6:30 pm in the Sister City Conference Room at City Hall. Public participation and discussion of traffic issues is encouraged as part of the TSPC meeting. A regular agenda is typically prepared three weeks in advance of the meeting, and only items on the agenda may be considered for action.
For this reason, it is best to forward traffic suggestions directly to the Traffic Engineer as outlined above. Suggestions should include the problem, a recommendation solution and your contact information, including your name, address and telephone number.
Recology San Bruno is the exclusive franchised debris box hauler for San Bruno and you must use them if you are interested in any type of debris box. View the Recology San Bruno website for additional information. If you plan on renting a storage bin, POD, or similar container and temporarily storing it on the street in front of your home while you fill it, you will need an encroachment permit.
Please refer to our Traffic Calming Program Brochure (PDF) for information on how to initiate the process and the principles and guidelines of the Traffic Calming Program. Please email Public Works or call 650-616-7065 if you have additional questions.