Yesterday, three-fifths of the City Council Transportation Committee met to discuss the proposed speed limit increases for four stretches of roads in the Valley. Sue Doyle of the Daily News does a great job describing the issues surrounding the limit increases, how the city pleads powerlessness even as crashes mount in the areas around the effected areas.
However, there was even worse news than just an increase in danger for valley residents, we can expect similar changes to be coming to streets throughout Los Angeles. Responding to a question from Councilman Bernard Parks about why all these changes are being focused in the Valley, LADOT’s Alan Willis responded that the Valley is just the first place to see their streets re-evaluated under state law and the rest of the city will undergo a similar revue in the coming years.
In other words, just because you don’t live in the Valley doesn’t mean you won’t be seeing speed limits go up in your neck of the woods.
While the City Council has expressed anger over the state law, and has vowed to get it changed, it’s also been over eight months since this issue first came up at the City Transportation Commission and so far, to the best of my knowledge, there has been no legislation introduced at the state level that would change the requirement that speed limits be set at the eighty-fifth percentile to allow use of radar.
While we wait for the City Council to pick up the phone and call their state legislators, there’s work you can do to protect your streets. If there is a road where people are constantly speeding, call the police, your neighborhood council and your elected reprsentatives and demand that the speed limit be enforced. The reality is that no matter the sign, people are going to drive as quickly as they can unless there is a consistent enforcement effort. If you don’t want a local speed limit raised, then work with the police to get people to stop speeding before the LADOT comes to measure the speed on the streets nearest you.