High Speed Concerns on Rancho Mirage Residential Road

High Speed Concerns on Rancho Mirage Residential Road

Max Rodriguez

The City of Rancho Mirage performs speed studies when residents bring road concerns to its attention, however, a resident who requested a study said it could only do so much and safety changes to the road need to follow.

Ellie lives on Chappel Road where she said an earlier this year the road became a race track for fast drivers.

Ellie said, “It was actually two in the morning, speed racing where the car reached excess 90 miles per hour.”

She said cars flying during the early hours of the morning was the last straw for her and neighbors.

Ellie said, “They pass me when I just try to get into my driveway sometimes from the other side cutting me off.”

The speed limit in her neighborhood street is 25 MPH, but she said not many follow the limit.

A group of neighbors brought this issue to the city staff’s attention. She said the city was responsive about her concerns and performed a speed study, however, she fears it was not as comprehensive.

She said, “Most people leave in May and come back the end of October, so it was conducted when it was less traffic.”

Ellie claims the study did not take into account part-time resident who may have left at the time of the study, which was conducted in April by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

The study recorded an average speed of 85% of cars travel 34 MPH or less.

The Public Works Director for Rancho Mirage, Jesse Eckenroth, said the average speed does not take the number of cars into account.

Eckenroth wrote through email, “It will not affect the average speed or the 85% percentile of speeds unless speed patterns from part-time residents differ from full-time residents.

Two speeds signs were added to Chappel Road as a result of the speed study.

Ellie said, “It’s a warning, it’s an alert, it’s a sign but it doesn’t stop people from speeding.”

The majority of neighborhood members turned down several mitigation options that were presented through a survey.

She said, “Speed bumps make people nervous because there’s too much noise, too much thumping in their house, stop signs are unacceptable because of people idle their cars near their house, noise, noise, noise.”

But Ellie said safety matters more than noise concerns or changes to the street’s aesthetics, and she said the city should be proactive with safety measures on the road instead of reactive.