Speed Limit Raises Reach Their Last Stop

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It seems like years since the first time I wrote about the LADOT's efforts to increase speed limits on several surface arterial streets in the San Fernando Valley.  Earlier today, one batch of those increases appeared on the City Council's Consent Agenda, traditionally the last place legislation appears before it becomes law.

Despite LADOT's protestations that they really didn't want to oversee speed limit increases but had to because of state law if the police wanted to use radar to enforce the speed; residents opposed these limits for a variety of safety reasons.  That the LADOT also admitted that even if it's hands weren't tied by state laws they would still want to increase these limits to improve traffic flow only angered the community's who's roads are seeing faster traffic more angry.  The Los Angeles Bike Advisory Committee Chair Glen Bailey went so far as to call the public process "dysfunctional" and "idiotic."  His commentary at Streetsblog reflected what he said at a recent City Council Transportation Committee Hearing.

Now the police department says, raise the speed limit and we'll enforce it. Why didn't they enforce the 35 MPH speed limit? They've had at least seven years to obtain compliance and, according to the Department of Transportation's so-called Engineering Report, have failed to do. So now the speeders are forcing the speed limit to be increased, and if the past is any predictor of the future, another increase will be in the offing by 2013. Idiotic!

For a complete list of the road segments seeing increases, check out today's City Council agenda.  To make life easier, run a search for "transportation."   And just a reminder for those that don't live in the Valley, in the coming years this kind of public process and faster, more dangerous streets will becoming to a street near you.

One sign of a broken outreach plan could be that Assemblyman Paul Krekorian's legislation that would give the DOT more flexibility and a better public process is due to be heard next Monday, yet the speed limit increases moved forward never the less.  Let's not even pretend that the city would consider redesigning these streets, many of them residential, to slow down traffic so the Krekorian legislation is the best hope that activists outside the valley have of hoping to avoid a repeat performance in local years.