A few residents cheered as the first car sped by and bright yellow numbers flickered above Sabre Springs Parkway this morning. The car passed at 44 mph, the new speed detector showed, slightly below the limit.

Residents started pushing for speed detectors last year after a string of deadly accidents that killed three people in a small stretch of the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare. A motorcyclist crashed and died. Cars fatally struck a cyclist and a pedestrian in separate incidents.

After the pedestrian’s death in October, city traffic officials studied the area and recommended speed detectors to slow traffic and raised reflectors to better show drivers where the street curves at night. Now Sabre Springs Parkway has both.

This morning, City Councilman Carl DeMaio, who represents the neighborhood, held a short ceremony with a few residents and news media to turn on the speed detectors. He commended residents for their advocacy and said he hopes the additions serve as a catalyst for involving others in civic affairs. The neighborhood’s planning group struggles to attract members and residents to its meetings.

“Today, it’s about underscoring how a few improvements in the community can enhance public safety,” DeMaio said. “That’s really the playbook that all communities should have in the city of San Diego.”

Still, DeMaio said the fixes on Sabre Springs Parkway took too long — 11 months. The city approved funding for the speed detectors in May, he said, but didn’t install them until today because other street projects took priority. “It should have been done a lot sooner,” he said.

DeMaio said street officials will continue to monitor speeds, and he will call for another traffic study if they report more concerns.

If you’ve noticed a safety problem in your neighborhood that the city hasn’t addressed, let me know. I’m interested in explaining trends like those in Sabre Springs so residents and city officials can identify solutions together.

Please contact Keegan Kyle directly at keegan.kyle@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5668 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/keegankyle.

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