LADOT Proposes Speed Limit Increases and Decreases

LAPD's Troy Williams speaking in 2016 on need for speed surveys. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
LAPD's Troy Williams speaking in 2016 on need for speed surveys. Photo: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

The city of Los Angeles is getting the approval process underway for a series of changes to speed limits. LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds has led a push for L.A. to update them in order for LAPD to issue speeding tickets. The changes are on the agenda for the city’s Board of Transportation Commissioners meeting tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. at City Hall. If approved there, they are expected to go to the city council Transportation Committee on October 25.

L.A. is required to periodically update speeds due to California’s “speed trap” law, which prevents cities from setting “arbitrarily low” speed limits. Municipalities must conduct speed studies and then set speed limits based on how fast most drivers are already going. Combined with traffic engineering standards that have long favored auto speeds, the law fosters a vicious cycle favoring faster and faster speeds.

In the past, LADOT’s proposed speed limit increases have been a subject of controversy, with many livable streets activists urging city electeds to reject increases. Overall the latest list of changes appears fairly measured. LADOT has proposed 94 miles of speed limit increases and 52 miles of speed limit decreases.

LADOT spokesperson Oliver Hou emphasizes that, by updating outdated speed studies, the department has already increased the total number of enforceable streets from 19 percent in early 2016 to 53 percent citywide now, with 70 percent of streets on the Vision Zero High Injury Network (HIN) now enforceable, up from 20 percent in early 2016. Hou reports that LAPD, which received a $1.5 million budget allocation for dedicated Vision Zero enforcement efforts, has already stepped up speed enforcement on High Injury Network streets.

Below is the full list of proposed speed limit changes (also available as a PDF or a Google spreadsheet.) To follow this item, see L.A. City Council File Index 15-1006.

Proposed speed limit increases – total 94.32 miles:

  • Balboa Bl between Rinaldi St and Victory Blvd, 6.4 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Broadway between Manchester Av and City Limit s/o 120th St, 2.54 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Burbank Bl between CL at Clybourn Av and San Diego Fwy, 6.2 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Central Av between Florence Av and City Limit s/o 120th St, 3.6 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Chandler Bl between Lankershim Bl and Coldwater Cyn Av, 2.1 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Foothill Bl between Lowell Av and Sunland Blvd, 3.7 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Glenoaks Bl between Osborne St and Hollywood Wy, 4.7 miles – 45mph to 50mph
  • Hubbard St between Foothill Bl and Laurel Cyn Bl, 2.15 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • La Tijera Bl between La Cienega Bl and 74th St, 0.77 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Olympic Bl between Century Park East and Centinela Av, 3.28 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Osborne St between Foothill Bl and San Fernando Rd, 1.7 miles – 40mph to 45mph
  • Osborne St between San Fernando Rd and Woodman Av, 2.2 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Overland Av between Pico Bl and Palms Bl, 1.4 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Overland Av between Palms Bl and Washington Bl, 0.8 miles – 30mph to 35mph
  • Oxnard St between Clybourn St and Sepulveda Bl, 5.8 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Rodeo Rd between Exposition Bl and La Brea Av, 2.46 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • San Fernando Rd (SW Roadway) between Fox St and Clybourn Av, 6 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Sawtelle Bl between Pico Bl and Palms Bl, 1.2 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Sepulveda Bl between Plummer St and Valley Vista Bl, 6.5 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Sherman Way between Shoup Av and Platt Av 1.5 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Vanowen St between Haskell Av and Valley Circle Bl, 10.4 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Venice Bl between Cadillac Av and Crenshaw Bl, 2.8 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Victory Bl between CL e/o Clybourn Av and San Diego Fwy, 6.6 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Vineland Av between Stagg St and Chandler Blvd, 3 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Whitsett Av between Roscoe Bl and Riverside Dr, 4.4 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Zelzah Av between Chatsworth St and Nordhoff St, 2 miles – 40mph to 45mph

Proposed speed limit decreases – total 52.63 miles:

  • 7th St between Vermont Av and Catalina St, 0.2 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • 8.2 8th St between Irolo St and Lucerne Bl, 1.4 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • 16.2 54th St between Western Av and Crenshaw, Bl 1.2 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Alexandria Av between Santa Monica Bl and Melrose Av, 0.5 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • Alla Rd between CL s/o Washington Bl and Maxella Av, 0.43 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • Alma St between 27th St and 37th St, 0.5 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Avalon Bl between Manchester Av and Imperial Hwy, 2 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Avenue 26 between Pasadena Av and San Fernando Rd, 0.9 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Avenue 36 between Eagle Rock Bl and Fletcher Dr, 0.1 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Colden Av between Clovis Av and Vermont Av, 2 miles – 30mph to 20mph
  • Coliseum St between Rodeo Rd and Hauser Bl, 2.4 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Commonwealth Av between Beverly Bl and Wilshire Bl, 0.8 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • Coronado St between Sunset Bl and Temple St, 0.6 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • Crescent Av between Beacon St and 21st St, 0.38 miles – 30mph to 20mph
  • Del Moreno Dr between Ventura Bl and Wells Dr, 0.8 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • Dodson Av between 9th St and Western Av, 0.56 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • Electra Dr between Mt Olympus Dr and Hercules Dr, 0.3 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • Fletcher Dr between Avenue 36 and San Fernando Dr, 0.7 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Foothill Bl between Clybourn Av and Van Nuys Bl, 1.9 miles – 45mph to 40mph
  • Glenoaks Bl between Van Nuys Bl and Osborne St, 0.83 miles – 40mph to 35mph
  • Hauser Bl between Washington Bl and Jefferson Bl, 0.9 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • Hercules Dr between Apollo Dr and Electra Dr, 0.43 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • Hillhurst Av between Los Feliz Bl and Hollywood Bl, 0.9 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Hollywood Bl between La Brea Av and Laurel Canyon Bl, 1.2 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Hoover St between Manchester Av and El Segundo Bl, 3 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Huston St between Hazeltine Av and Cedros Av, 0.75 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • La Brea Av between CL at Romaine St and Olympic Bl, 2.2 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Motor Av between Manning Av and CL s/o Venice Bl, 1.2 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Neptune Av between Lomita Bl and C St, 1.83 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • Osborne St between Foothill Bl and CL n/o Garrick Av, 0.6 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Parthenia St between Lindley Av and Tampa Av, 1.5 miles – 40mph to 35mph
  • Reseda Bl between Sesnon Bl and Rinaldi St, 1.6 miles – 50mph to 45mph
  • Sawtelle Bl between Olympic Bl and Pico Bl, 0.3 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Sunset Bl between Virgil Av and Crescent Heights Bl, 4.5 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Thurman Av between Venice Bl and Washington Bl, 0.5 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Townsend Av between Hill Dr and Colorado Bl, 0.35 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • Vermont Av between Hollywood Bl and Clinton St, 1.3 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Vermont Av between Clinton St and Oakwood Av, 0.3 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Vermont Av between Oakwood Av and Beverly Bl, 0.1 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Vermont Av between Beverly Bl and Olympic Bl, 1.6 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Vernon Av between Alameda St and CL w/o Crenshaw Bl, 5.2 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Via Dolce between Washington Bl and CL w/o Marquesas Wy, 0.4 miles – 35mph to 30mph
  • Vineland Av between San Fernando Rd and Lorne St, 0.16 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • Woodley Av between Magnolia Bl and Ventura Bl, 0.59 miles – 30mph to 25mph
  • York Bl between CL e/o San Pascual Av and Eagle Rock Bl, 2.72 miles – 35mph to 30mph

Establish speed limit (per LADOT, these were part of longer segments, and now, because of roadway design changes or other justification, LADOT is splitting them out) – total 9.35 miles:

  • Cascada Wy between Bellagio Rd and Glenroy Av, 0.26 miles – N/A to 25mph
  • Chandler Bl between Lankershim Bl and Vineland Av, 0.36 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Echo Park Av between Landa St and Bellevue Av, 2 miles – 25mph to 25mph
  • Edgemont St between Los Feliz Bl and Santa Monica Bl, 1.36 miles – 25mph to 25mph
  • Herrick Av between Brownell St and Pierce St, 1.3 miles – 25mph to 25mph
  • Hollywood Bl between Gower St and La Brea Av, 1.3 miles – 25mph to 25mph
  • Manchester Av between Osage Av and Sepulveda Bl, 1 miles – 35mph to 40mph
  • Manchester Av between Sepulveda Bl and Lincoln Bl, 1.3 miles – 40mph to 40mph
  • San Marino St between Vermont Av and Normandie Av, 0.47 miles – 25mph to 25mph
  • Vooch

    NYC default speed limit is 25MPH

    there are very very few exceptions

  • SDGreg

    This just points out that streets need to be redesigned so people will drive slower. People will adjust their speeds to the design of the street. And absent better street design, the city needs to be sued by those injured or killed because of speeds too high for the mix of users.

  • calwatch

    As I mentioned in other threads on this topic (helpfully listed below the article), the speed trap law prevents further inequities in transportation. Cities were using it for revenue generation – New Rome, OH was a famous example, but even West Covina was formed to trap drivers on US 70/99 passing through. You also don’t want police agencies to use speed trap laws to profile people, such as was occurring in North St. Louis County. Towns like Ferguson and Jennings were using petty laws, including speed trap laws, to oppress the African American population and make money off their incarceration.

    To remove that incentive, I would redirect revenue gained from reduced speed limits to the State General Fund. Also, fines for speeding, at least for the first offense in a two year time span, need to go down, which may incentivize officers to write more of them, with less discretion. It’s well known that officers often abuse their discretion to favor pretty people of the opposite gender, people of their same race, people in the same profession, etc. when they should be writing tickets uniformly for all violations, with any deviations documented (i.e. a pregnant woman racing to the hospital).

  • One huge issue in California is that which roads/streets/stroads are under the jurisdiction of the 85th Percentile Speed Trap Law are determined by the FHWA in Washington D.C. and not the state, county or city. So an obviously residential street can be classified as a collector or “minor arterialL by a bureaucrat 3000 miles away and it takes hard work by local staff (if available) to have that changed.

  • keenplanner

    It’s clear that in LA pedestrian and bicycle safety are far less important than moving the most motor vehicles at maximum speed.

  • Kevin Anderstove

    Raise the speed limit, it is too low!!!

  • Kevin Anderstove


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