County to lower speed limit on Nicasio Square

01/13/2021

After an intoxicated driver missed a 90-degree turn in the Nicasio Square and smashed into a house two summers ago, locals looked to the county for remedies to chronic speeding in the town. “For every one reported collision, there are a lot of near misses when people don’t adhere to a proper speed on that curve,” said David Flynn, the county’s transportation planning and traffic division manager. Supervisors this week moved to reduce the speed limit around the ballfield and on the southbound approach that passes the school. According to the new ordinance, the speed limit will drop from 40 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour on the stretch of road that begins just north of Nicasio School, and from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour through the square, between Old Rancheria Road and Nicasio Creek Road. The move marks a return to speed limits predating 2013. School employees told the county that in that time, they have regularly seen drivers race by, sometimes crossing the double yellow lines to pass drivers who are complying. Lowering the speed limit past the school will have the added benefit of reducing drivers’ speeds leading into the square, where there are two successive 90-degree turns. One idea to increase safety, Mr. Flynn said, had been to realign the curves, but the solution proved cost prohibitive. Putting up barriers in front of the homes was not pursued for its potential to disrupt the town’s character. Bill Joost, president of the Nicasio Landowners Association, recalled that shortly after the accident that took place in the summer of 2019, another car spun into the fence directly next to the house that was still under repair from the first crash. “It wasn’t the first time we had cars go off the road in that area traveling at excessive speeds,” he said, “but it prompted us to ask: What can we do here to try to reduce the risk to anyone who lives there, to protect property?”