Yes! SLO Transit buses are equipped with bicycle storage racks on their buses for up to three bicycles. SLORTA buses (county-wide buses) are also equipped with bicycle racks and can accommodate up to six bicycles per bus.When transporting your bicycle on the bus, as a courtesy, please exit the bus from the front door and remind the bus driver that you will be retrieving your bicycle.
Traffic signs and markings shall be placed on public streets only by public authorities or officials having jurisdiction, for the purpose of regulating, warning, or guiding traffic as stated in the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD). The City installs curb paint or other traffic signs and markings after careful examination for their needs and impact on City streets. All signs or markings in the public right-of-way must be installed by the City or with the City’s approval.
If these signs are not installed by the City or with City approval, they are illegal and cannot be enforced. Furthermore, such actions by an individual present an unnecessary liability in case an accident occurs in the area where these signs or curb markings have been installed illegally and the City cannot provide records to justify the need for these signs/markings. The CA MUTCD also states that any unauthorized sign placed on the highway right-of-way by a private organization or individual constitutes a public nuisance and should be removed immediately. The City of San Luis Obispo may take appropriate action to remove these unwarranted devices at the expense of the individual(s) who installed them.
Traffic markings shall be placed on public streets for the purpose of regulating, warning, or guiding traffic as stated in the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD). The City installs curb paint after careful examination for its needs and impact on City streets. All curb markings in the public right-of-way must be installed by the City or with the City’s approval. Red curbs are enforced by the San Luis Obispo Police Department or Parking Services.
The City has a no-fee Red Curb Permit Program in place to allow property owners to paint and maintain a portion of red curb on either side of their driveway as deemed justified by City staff. The goal of this program is to discourage cars from blocking driveways and to increase the visibility when cars are backing onto the road. A permit can be requested by contacting the Transportation Division at 781-7597. Transportation staff will evaluate the property and issue the permit.
Curb markings installed without approval by the City will not be included in the permitted curb database. These installations will be removed by Public Works, and the cost of the removal will be charged to the responsible party. Furthermore, and unauthorized red curb may present an unnecessary liability in case an accident occurs in the area where the curb markings have been installed illegally and the City cannot provide records to justify the need for these markings.
First, an engineering study of the intersection must be performed. The Transportation Division looks at things such as traffic volumes, pedestrian volumes, posted speed, collision history, road alignment, and visibility. To install a traffic signal, the intersection must meet California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD) warrants. If warrants are met, engineering judgment is considered to make sure the proposed traffic signal improves the overall safety and operation of the intersection. If the intersection does warrant a traffic signal and is approved by the City Traffic Engineering Staff, it will be installed as soon as funding permits. Traffic Signals are commonly installed as part of the Capital Improvement Program in the City, with projects evaluated by the City Council. The cost for a typical signalized intersection starts at $200,000 and could be in excess of $400,000, with an additional $5,000-$10,000 per year to maintain. Traffic Engineering’s investigation may provide alternate solutions if the study does not warrant the installation of a traffic signal. An alternative solution to a signal can be an all-way stop or signing and striping modifications at an intersection. This utilizes tax dollars most efficiently and can usually be acted upon more quickly.
Curb markings serve a variety of purposes in the City of San Luis Obispo and other cities.
Red curb indicates no stopping, standing or parking at any time, whether the vehicle is attended or unattended. Red curb is typically found at bus stops, near schools, or fire lanes where parking is prohibited to keep motorist from creating a burden. The City Traffic Operations Manager will determine the final location and length for the installation of red curb.
Yellow curb indicates stopping only for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers or material. The City Traffic Operations Manager is the authority in determining the location of loading zones. Yellow curb is typically found near schools or businesses that experience a high volume of deliveries throughout a day.
Green curb markings indicate no stopping or parking for a period longer than what is posted. Locations are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and approved by the City Traffic Operations Manager. Transportation staff will work closely with establishments where transactions are short-term in nature to assure accommodations are made for all businesses and motorist affected by this type of request. Green curbs on public streets are for public use and are not reserved parking for particular people or businesses.
- The City’s highest priority transportation goal is the safety of our residents. The City applies accepted traffic engineering guidelines and principals when analyzing roadway geometry and designing roads. The City is proactive in training staff in the most advanced and innovative aspects of transportation engineering. The Transportation Division manages several programs addressed directly to the safety of our roadways:
Annual Traffic Safety Report:
The Annual Traffic Safety Program began in 2002 in an attempt to identify high collision locations within the City. In addition, the program actively pursues corrective measures that may reduce collision rates and improve safety for the citizens of San Luis Obispo. This program has had continued success with 55% collision reduction since the program began despite increasing traffic volumes. The report ranks locations by collision rate for motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. The report, along with recommended mitigations, is presented to the City Council. With City Council approval and funds allocated, the mitigation measures are implemented and the locations monitored. To view published reports, click here.Communication Between Transportation Staff and the Police Department: Transportation staff meets on a regular basis with the City’s Police Traffic Division to discuss potential problem areas whether they be related to infrastructure or enforcement, and Transportation staff addresses them as needed.
Neighborhood Traffic Management Program: The Neighborhood Traffic Management (NTM) Program applies neighborhood traffic calming measures for the purposes of addressing excessive vehicular speeds and volumes. Qualifying neighborhoods are generally limited to local and residential collector streets. To learn more about the NTM Program, click here.
Respond to Citizen Requests: Transportation staff is more than willing to listen and respond to traffic related concerns. If staff deems it appropriate, traffic studies may be conducted in response to citizen concerns as a means of investigating the concern. If you have a concern and would like to speak with someone from the Transportation Division please call (805)781-7597.
I am having difficulty seeing the oncoming traffic at a particular intersection. How can the City help?
Transportation staff will conduct a field study in the area adjacent to a particular intersection where there is a visibility concern to determine whether or not sight distance standards are met. As part of the study, staff checks collision history for the intersection to determine collision patterns. Unusual street geometry, obstructing objects or parking overflow may be some of the reasons for concern. If the intersection does not meet minimum line-of-sight standards and the City Traffic Operations Manager approves mitigation, the City will implement restrictions or improvements. Call the Transportation Hotline to register a request at (805) 781-7597.
These restrictions may involve installation of “No Parking” signs, red curb where approved or removal of trees or obstructions if necessary. When red curb is installed near an intersection, consideration is also given to the preservation of adjacent parking spaces. In all cases, please exercise caution when leaving private property or a side street. Move forward, thus gaining more visibility to exit the driveway or side street in a safe manner.
I cross an intersection without crosswalks. Can the City install a marked crosswalk or beacon flashers?
Per the California Vehicle Code (CVC), section 21950, the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked or unmarked crosswalk at an intersection. This, however, does not relieve a pedestrian from the duty of using due care for his or her safety. No pedestrian may suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle that is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
Intersection crosswalks are typically installed at signalized intersections, near schools, hospitals, places of worship or commercial business areas with high volume of pedestrians. Marked crosswalks should be viewed as channelization devices rather than safety devices. Before installation of any crosswalk is considered, a study of the intersection or segment of road is performed to see if the crosswalk is warranted. Based on collision history, number of pedestrians, the surrounding area, and engineering judgment a final decision will be made by the City Traffic Engineer. Installation of in-pavement or beacon flashers are reserved for schools sites, or areas with extreme pedestrian traffic. Due to the high cost of these two particular devices, funding sources are usually acquired through State or Federal grants. In some cases, the facility creating the pedestrian traffic will pay for the installation. Marked crosswalks are not force fields that will protect an individual. Please look both ways, make eye-contact with the motorist and proceed with caution when crossing any road.
I live near a high school and the kids keep taking up all parking spaces in the neighborhood. What can be done about this?
The Residential Parking District program restricts on-street parking to vehicles that display a permit given to residents by the City. Each district is approved by City Council resolution. Currently, nine Residential Parking Districts have been established in the City.
See the Parking Services page on Residential Parking Districts for more information.
Someone in our neighborhood has left a basketball hoop on the street creating parking restrictions. What can be done about this?If a basketball hoop is in the public right-of-way, it becomes a safety hazard and is in violation of the City of San Luis Obispo Municipal Code 12.04.020. Feel free to contact the Traffic Hotline at (805) 781-7597 to report a basketball hoop on a City street or sidewalk.
The City of San Luis Obispo Municipal Code Section 10.36.050 states that “No person who owns or has possession, custody or control of any vehicle shall park such vehicle upon any street or alley for more than a consecutive period of seventy-two hours.”
To request to have a vehicle removed that has been abandoned, write down a description of the vehicle, the license plate number and the address where it is parked. Call the SLOPD business line at 805-781-7317 with the information. Police Department field service technicians will begin the process of tagging and removing the vehicle.
This is one of the most common questions asked of the Transportation Division in the Public Works Department. The first step is collecting data and identifying if a problem exists on the segment of road. Transportation Division staff will conduct a speed survey to determine if speeding is occurring. A speed survey consists of using radar or laser detection equipment to record vehicle speeds. This is the same procedure used to set a speed limit. Data from the speed survey will quantify the speed of vehicles traveling on the segment. In some cases, speeding is not actually occurring on the street and the resident is informed of these findings. When the data shows that the speed of vehicles exceeds the set by current speed limit on the roadway, the education and enforcement process begins. The Transportation Division contacts the Police Department so we can work together and address the concerns.
This new device is called a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon (PHB), also commonly referred to as a “HAWK” signal. It is a traffic control device used to stop road traffic and allow pedestrians and bicyclists to cross safely. At a PHB, the beacon remains dark until the push button to cross is activated by a pedestrian or bicyclists intending to cross. Upon activation, the beacons begin flashing yellow, then steady yellow, then solid red. During the solid red phase, drivers must remain stopped while users cross from the side street. Prior to returning to dark, the beacons display an alternating flashing red “wig-wag” that allows drivers to stop and proceed when clear, as they would with a stop sign.
This bicycle symbol in the center of the traffic lane is a loop detector for bicycles. When a bicycle is position above this symbol it will trigger the traffic signal using an induction “loop” buried in the street pavement. This will “trip” the traffic signal to give a green to the bicyclists.
Please remember that bicyclists must abide by the California Vehicle Code and are required to obey all traffic signs and signals.
What needs to occur for the City to allow a full closure of a street so we can eliminate all traffic in a neighborhood?
It is not the goal of the City to modify existing streets and redistribute problems to other neighborhoods. Some people may think closing a street will solve all speeding problems, but they may not realize the big picture. The biggest impact of a street closure would directly affect the residents living in the neighborhood. The Police and Fire departments would need to find alternative and longer routes to reach residents in need. The City of San Luis Obispo has master-planned and strategically placed fire stations throughout the City to respond to emergencies. Each fire station has a timed route to reach residence in a specific region of the City. Removing a single street connection will add time and modify existing routes. When precious minutes and seconds count, a reroute of emergency response vehicles can make the difference between life and death. Street connections and Fire and Police response times are things the City does not want to jeopardize for residents. All modifications to the existing street network are thoroughly vetted by both the Police and Fire Departments for possible impacts before they are approved.
Where can I see what the City has planned for future roads or bicycle and pedestrian facilities in my neighborhood?
The City has many resources for you to see what is being planned for transportation in the future:
The City’s Circulation Element of the General Plan identifies many policies, programs, and projects for the future of transportation within the City of San Luis Obispo.
The Bicycle Transportation Plan identifies over 50 bicycle implementation projects planned to connect various neighborhoods and areas of the City by bicycle. The plan lists which projects are in which elementary school zones, pavement management zones, and how much the project is estimated to cost.
The City also has identified various areas as Specific Planning Areas. These areas have their own detailed plans including goals, policies, and projects for the future. To see how these specific planning areas may affect your neighborhood, take some time to read through them.
- The City of San Luis Obispo only allows the installation of speed bumps/humps in the public right-of-way on a limited basis. See the Neighborhood Traffic Management section for more information.
A stop sign is one of the 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 at an intersection to decide who has the right-of-way. Guidance provided by the California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (CA MUTCD) states, “STOP signs should not be used for speed control.” Newly installed Stop signs in the City of San Luis Obispo follow state guidelines prior to installation. Engineering studies, which are based on State and City Standards, are performed by The Transportation Division to determine if a STOP sign is allowable at a location. Once a study has been performed and an intersection warrants an installation, engineering judgment is then taken into consideration. The City Traffic Operations Manager will make the final decision prior to installing a new Stop sign at an intersection.
Unwarranted stop signs increase noise, air pollution, fuel consumption, and mid-block vehicle speeds. A STOP sign used where it is not appropriate can also result in disrespect by motorist for that location. This misuse might result in disregard at those locations where the STOP sign is needed and appropriate. When traffic conditions do not warrant the installation of a stop sign, non-compliance can compromise safety for all. The City of San Luis Obispo understands the importance of STOP signs and follows CA MUTCD warrants along with applying engineering judgment to make the correct decision when installing these important traffic control devices.
These fixed, static speed signs are not intended to slow traffic, rather they are a legal mechanism to allow enforcement against those who violate the speed limit. According to the California Vehicle Code (CVC), section 22352(2)(A), all residential streets have a speed limit of 25 MPH unless otherwise posted. The City of San Luis Obispo and other agencies are not required to post the speed limit on these streets in order to enforce them. This basic rule, known as prima-facie speed, is consistent throughout the nation. In some rare cases, where road conditions and engineering judgment deems these signs necessary, the City Traffic Operations Manager may allow the placement of Speed Limit Signs on Residential streets. See the Section on Speed Limits for more information.
Children at Play Signs can create a false sense of security for parents and children. "Children at Play" signs are direct and open suggestions to children that the street is an acceptable place to play. Unfortunately, there is the belief that traffic signs will provide protection for the safety of children in the street near their home. This creates the potential for vehicles and children to come in contact. Use of “Children at Play” sign is not allowed under the California Vehicle Code (CVC) section 21465. A residential street is not the best location for children to play. This creates the potential for vehicles and children to come in contact, and there could be tragic results. Signs of this type have been rejected by the City of San Luis Obispo since they are a direct and open suggestion that children should play in the street.
- Most of the traffic signals in San Luis Obispo are designed to detect bicyclists at the intersection. Traffic signals with video detection will be able to detect the presence of a bicyclist. Traffic signals operating with a loop detector will have a small bicycle symbol painted in the center of the traffic lane. This symbol indicates where a bicyclist should position their bicycle to “trip” the signal. Other traffic signals (primarily in the downtown area) are operated by fixed time. These signals do not have detection of any kind and will continue to cycle through for traffic in all directions.
Please remember that bicyclists must abide by the California Vehicle Code and are required to obey all traffic signs and signals.
The subject of parking next to fire hydrants is addressed in the California Vehicle Code (CVC), section 22514, which states, “No person shall stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle within 15 feet of a fire hydrant…” Since the CVC already states that it is illegal to park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, whether or not there are signs or red curb, the City typically does not designate the area in front of a fire hydrant as a no-parking zone. If there is a pattern of repeated violations by motorists parking next to particular fire hydrants, it can be addressed by increased enforcement by the San Luis Obispo Police Department.The City of San Luis Obispo does not designate the area in front of a mail box as a no parking zone. It is the responsibility of the United States Postal Service to deliver the package or mail to the appropriate owner. Contact your local postmaster if you are experiencing difficulty receiving mail.