The WHWCNC Public Safety Committee takes on the proposed speed limit increases with special guests Deputy Chief Michel Moore, Councilman Dennis Zine and LADOT GM Rita Robinson in a roundtable discussion that includes speed limit enforcement, speed zone surveys and traffic calming techniques.
At issue are the three proposed speed limit increases proposed for Mulholland Drive, Corbin Avenue and Fallbrook Avenue. The proposals are part of the ongoing speed limit surveys that are conducted by the LADOT to certify the speed limits so that the LAPD can use radar/laser for speed limit enforcement.
Current State law provides that speed limits be set so that 85% of the motorists traveling unrestricted and at off-peak hours are considered to be driving at a legal speed. LADOT’s Alan Willis refers to this as “motorists voting on the speed limit with the gas pedal.”
Opponents to this process charge that there are other mechanisms for bringing the prevailing speed and the speed limit into alignment without simply raising the speed limit. These techniques include speed humps, speed tables, road diets, signalization and signage along with other traffic calming techniques. Opponents also charge that the surveys should be more context sensitive and that community should be a part of the year-long process and not just notified as the process goes to the Transportation Commission and Transportation Committee.
It was the Transportation Committee that met two weeks ago and directed the LADOT to present these speed limit proposals to the community, a process that typically goes from the Transportation Commission to the Transportation Committee to the City Council with little opportunity for community participation.
The LADOT monitors approximately 700 streets segments for speed limit certification with approximately 100 of them coming up for review each year. Of the 100 segments reviewed each year, a third to a quarter of the reviews result in recommendations for speed limit increases.
Critics charge that simply adjusting the speed limits rather than addressing the prevailing speed of traffic and the environment is due to a focus on speed limit enforcement as a revenue source and not as a commitment to truly addressing the safety of the community.
The WHWCNC Public Safety Committee will conclude the presentation and discussion with a recommendation to the WHWCNC Board which meets on Thursday, January 29 @ 6:30 pm. The Board, which typically meets on the second Wednesday of each month, will take consider the recommendation of the Public Safety Committee and will consider a resolution on the speed limit increases proposed for Mulholland Drive, Corbin Avenue and Fallbrook Avenue.