Neighborhoods Want LADOT to Slow Down on Speed Limit Hikes

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As local transportation commission officials continue to push for higher speed limits on local residential and commercial streets, some neighborhood activists aren’t ready to throw in the towel on the battle to keep their streets safe by keeping their speed limits slow.  A new batch of speed limit raises are being proposed by the city’s Transportation Commission on Thursday at 10:00 A.M.

City officials have pleaded helplessness to keep the limits on these roads low, that state regulations were forcing them to raise speed limits because of a state requirement to re-evaluate speed limits for the right to use radar detection.  The state law requires that whatever the posted speed limit is, the limit should be raised or lowered to allow the speed limit to reflect how voters are driving, even if experts feel they are driving at unsafe speeds.

But CityWatch reports that help is on the way, and if the city goes slow on raising speed limits the state may change its mind on this state requirement.

Meanwhile,
the State of California is considering revisions to the state law
regulating the establishment of posted speed limits and is considering
a proposed modification that would allow local municipalities a "soft
floor" that would provide a mechanism for setting legal and radar
enforceable speed limits at lower than the 50 percentile, simply by
documenting the mitigating conditions and justification for the lower
speed.

The
California Traffic Control Devices Committee (CTCDC) took public
comment on this issue at its September meeting and also took written
recommendations from the City of Carlsbad, the City of Escondido and
the Santa Clara County Police Chiefs’ Association. The draft minutes
for this meeting indicate that the City of Pasadena, the City of
Thousand Oaks, the City of San Jose and the California Police Chiefs’
Association were also all in the mix.

If you want to have your voice heard on this measure, take a moment to email Caltrans’ director Wil Kempton at will_kempton@dot.ca.gov and carbon copy the email to Stephen Box at Stephen@ThirdEyeCreative.net.  Stephen has promised to take every email he receives to the Transportation Comission hearing this Thursday.

Photo: arkitekt/Flickr

1 thought on Neighborhoods Want LADOT to Slow Down on Speed Limit Hikes

  1. After reading through the state guidelines for determining the speed limit in a zone that you want to allow officers to use radar in, I was pretty disappointed with how the LADOT decided to interpret that law.

    One huge problem with this department is that they have made a huge political calculation: that private automobiles are the most important thing to every Angeleno, and every other interest is subservient to car speeds and throughput on our streets.

    This political calculation stems from an arrogance enshrined in the Institute for Transportation Engineering’s fabric and the curriculum of nearly every traffic engineering class in the U.S.

    This isn’t a top-down, nor bottom-up, idea in the LADOT. The LADOT “is” this idea: a big waging middle finger at anyone who thinks their lungs, their life, or their economic interests might be more important than a bunch of cars being able to speed through their neighborhood.

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