Last year, Colusa County Sheriff Joe Garofalo hoped a greater law enforcement presence in Princeton would help curb speeding.
When Garofalo held a community meeting in April of 2018, residents said motorists sped through the 35 mph zone on State Highway 45 at speeds of 50-to-70 mph.
Since then, the State of California raised the speed limit to 45 mph, based on the 85th percentile, a rule that requires the speed limit be set to conform to the actual behavior of drivers.
While Princeton residents said the rule would typically be appropriate for most state highways, it is not appropriate for the community, where pedestrians, bicyclists, and students going to and from school must share the road.
“The state won’t listen to us,” said Diane Hogan. “It’s going to take a kid getting killed for them to do anything.”
Residents said the 45 mph speed limit is posted so that motorists do not see the 25 mph speed limit – indicating residential neighborhoods and schools – until after they have driven past pedestrian pathways for students.
Some of the biggest speeding culprits, they said, are truck drivers pulling double trailers, who disregard the speed limits entirely.
“When they go by, my whole house shakes,” Ray Hogan said.
Garofalo said speeding is the primary complaint at his community meetings, followed by animals at large and residential disturbances at night.
Princeton’s meeting on April 18 was the fourth in a series of meetings throughout the county, with residents reporting that people continue to come out at night to prowl yards and look over fences.
Meetings have been held in Stonyford, Grimes, and Arbuckle. The next town hall meeting is scheduled for 6 PM Thursday at the Maxwell Fire Department.
Garofalo said the meetings provide an opportunity for residents to share their thoughts and speak with staff from a number of agencies, including law enforcement, public works, and animal control.
Residents are encouraged to report crimes at 458-0200. Traffic calls are typically diverted to California Highway Patrol. ■