Speed Limit Increases Move to Transportation Committee

On Wednesday, January 14, at 2pm in City Hall,
the City Council’s Transportation Committee will convene with an agenda that includes proposed speed limit increases for several streets in the West Valley.

The proposed speed limit increases were scheduled three times in the Transportation Commission before they finally passed in the last session of 2008. The LADOT, in an effort that shows commitment and enthusiasm, has one last stop before the Transportation Committee, chaired by Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, and then the ordinance revisions go to the full Council.

At issues is the State law requiring speed limit certification of all streets if radar or lasar is to be used for speed limit enforcement. The appropriate speed limit is then determined based on the “85% rule” which is determined by measure the speed of at least a hundred motorists and then calling the speed at which 85% of the motorists are at or under the appropriate speed limit for the street.

In other words, the motorists on your streets vote with their gas pedals. The faster they go, the higher the new speed limit.

Those opposed to the new speed limit proposals have argued that the State law is currently up for revision which would allow local communities to adjust the new speed limit to account for mitigating circumstances such as environment and context and other conditions that would allow the speed limit to be set as low at 50% of the prevailing speed. Others argue that instead of simply raising the speed limit, traffic calming techniques should be deployed to slow down traffic in some of the proposed areas.

A third group of proponents simply argue that whatever the LADOT and the LAPD is proposing, it should have gone to the community first instead of going public just days before Commission and Committee and Council hearings are conducted.

Councilman Zine has responded to the brouhaha by introducing a resolution to the Los Angeles City Council calling for a revision of the State’s 85% law and for greater authority in pursuing

If you’d like comment on the proposed speed limits, you can email us at info@whcouncil.org and we’ll carry your message to the Transportation Committee.

Click here to download the Transportation Committee Agenda.

Click here to look at Councilman Zine’s Resolution.

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