L.A. Planning to Reduce Speed Limits on 177 Miles of City Streets

This stretch of South L.A.'s Obama Boulevard would see a speed limit reduction from 40 to 35 mph under the city's proposal. Image via Google Street View
This stretch of South L.A.'s Obama Boulevard would see a speed limit reduction from 40 to 35 mph under the city's proposal. Image via Google Street View

Next week the L.A. City Council Transportation Committee will vote on a staff recommendation to reduce speed limits on more that 75 segments of city streets. The committee meeting [agenda] will take place on Tuesday February 15.

For decades, L.A. City speed limits have consistently ratcheted upwards under the state’s 85th percentile law, which livability advocates and many cities have opposed. The law had forced cities to increase speed limits to match illegal driver speeding behavior. The L.A. Times called the law absurd, dangerous and counterproductive.

Last year, the state legislature approved A.B. 43 – by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D – Glendale) – which makes it legal for cities to consider the safety of vulnerable road users and Vision Zero goals when setting speed limits. There is a provision in A.B. 43 that allows municipalities to roll back recent speed limit increases if the increase was not based on any physical changes to the design of the street.

Late last year, the L.A. City Council approved a motion [council file 21-1223] by Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Paul Koretz, and Paul Krekorian to reform city speed limits based on the new state law. Under that motion, the city Transportation Department (LADOT) reviewed street segments where speed limits increased during their last renewal cycle. The department determined that speed limit reductions were warranted on 77 street segments totaling 177.2 miles.

LADOT is recommending the following speed limit reductions [LADOT staff report, proposed ordinance].

Sections 1 and 2: Street segments that were 35 mph reducing to 30 mph

  • Avenue 60 between the City Limit east of Heilman Avenue and Figueroa Street
  • Beverly Glen Boulevard between Ventura Boulevard and Sumac Drive
  • Centinela Avenue between Santa Monica Boulevard and Ocean Park Boulevard
  • Deep Canyon Drive between Mulholland Drive and Hutton Drive
  • Gladstone Avenue between Maclay Street and Polk Street
  • Highlander Road between Platt Avenue and Valley Circle Boulevard
  • Sepulveda Boulevard between 84th Place and 92nd Street
  • Woodley Avenue between Balboa Boulevard and Rinaldi Street

Sections 3 and 4: Street segments that were 40 mph reducing to 35 mph

  • Balboa Boulevard between Rinaldi Street and Victory Boulevard
  • Beverly Glen Boulevard between Sumac Drive and Mulholland Drive
  • Broadway between Manchester Avenue and the City Limit south of 120th Street
  • Burbank Boulevard between the City Limit at Clybourn Avenue and the San Diego Freeway (405) ramps
  • Central Avenue between Florence Avenue and the City Limit south of 120th Street
  • Century Park East between Olympic Boulevard and Pico Boulevard
  • Chandler Boulevard between Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Van Nuys Boulevard
  • Chandler Boulevard between Vineland Avenue and Coldwater Canyon Avenue
  • Clybourn Avenue between Strathern Street and Cohasset Street
  • Clybourn Avenue between Vanowen Street and Victory Boulevard
  • Colfax Avenue between Moorpark Street and Ventura Boulevard
  • Corbin Avenue between Roscoe Boulevard and Ventura Boulevard
  • Foothill Boulevard between Lowell Avenue and Sunland Boulevard
  • Glenoaks Boulevard between Foothill Boulevard and the City Limit south of Hubbard Street
  • Hayvenhurst Avenue between Saticoy Street and Victory Boulevard
  • Hubbard Street between Foothill Boulevard and the City Limit east of Bradley Avenue
  • Hubbard Street between the City Limit east of Hubbard Place and Laurel Canyon Boulevard
  • John S. Gibson Boulevard between Harbor Freeway (110) northbound on and off Ramps and Channel Street
  • La Tijera Boulevard between La Cienega Boulevard and 74th Street
  • Lassen Street between Woodman Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard
  • Lindley Avenue between Nordhoff Street and Ventura Boulevard
  • Mulholland Drive between Topanga Canyon Boulevard and San Feliciano Drive
  • Normandie Avenue between 190th Street and the City Limit south of 225th Street
  • Obama Boulevard between Exposition Boulevard and La Brea Avenue
  • Obama Boulevard between La Brea Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard
  • Olympic Boulevard between Century Park East and Sepulveda Boulevard
  • Olympic Boulevard between Sepulveda Boulevard and Centinela Boulevard
  • Osborne Street between San Fernando Road and Woodman Avenue
  • Overland Avenue between Pico Boulevard and Palms Boulevard
  • Oxnard Street between Clybourn Street and Sepulveda Boulevard
  • Oxnard Street between De Soto Avenue and Shoup Avenue
  • Palisades Drive between Calle Arbolada and 500 feet south of Avenida de Santa Ynez
  • Reseda Boulevard-Mecca Avenue between 200 feet north of Linnet Street and Winford Street (north intersection)
  • San Fernando Road between Fox Street and Clybourn Avenue
  • San Vicente Boulevard between Pico Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard
  • Sawtelle Boulevard between Pico Boulevard and Palms Boulevard
  • Sepulveda Boulevard between Plummer Street and Vista Boulevard
  • Sepulveda Boulevard between the City Limit north of Ohio Avenue and Venice Boulevard
  • Sherman Way between Shoup Avenue and Platt Avenue
  • Shoup Avenue between Roscoe Boulevard and Ventura Boulevard
  • Stadium Way between Riverside Drive and Academy Road
  • Terra Bella Street between San Fernando Road and Nordhoff Street
  • 223rd Street between Normandie Avenue and Western Avenue
  • Vanowen Street between Haskell Avenue and Valley Circle Boulevard
  • Venice Boulevard between Crenshaw Boulevard and Cadillac Avenue
  • Venice Boulevard between Cadillac Avenue and McLaughlin Avenue
  • Victory Boulevard between the City Limit east of Clybourn Avenue and the San Diego (405) ramps
  • Vineland Avenue between Stagg Street and Chandler Boulevard
  • Whitsett Avenue between Roscoe Boulevard and Riverside Drive
  • Whitsett Avenue between Riverside Drive and Ventura Boulevard
  • Winnetka Avenue between Nordhoff Street and Ventura Boulevard

Sections 5 and 6: Street segments that were 45 mph reducing to 40 mph

  • Arleta Avenue between Devonshire Street and Roscoe Boulevard
  • Bell Canyon Road between Valley Circle Boulevard and the City Limit west of Overland Drive
  • Brand Boulevard between the City Limit east of Acala Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard
  • Cahuenga Boulevard East between Barham Boulevard and Pilgrimage Bridge
  • Chatsworth Drive between Chatsworth Street and the 5 Freeway
  • Nordhoff Way between Nordhoff Street and Corbin Avenue
  • Osborne Street between Foothill Boulevard and San Fernando Road
  • Reseda Boulevard between Rinaldi Street and Devonshire Street
  • Sepulveda Boulevard between Getty Center Drive and the City Limit south of Cashmere Street
  • Sunland Avenue between Foothill Boulevard and Nohles Drive
  • Valley Circle Boulevard between Burbank Boulevard and Calenda Drive
  • Victory Boulevard between Shoup Avenue and Valley Circle Boulevard
  • Wilbur Avenue between Tampa Avenue and Devonshire Street
  • Wilbur Avenue between Devonshire Street and Nordhoff Street
  • Winnetka Avenue between Devonshire Street and Nordhoff Street
  • Zelzah Avenue between Chatsworth Street and Nordhoff Street

Sections 7 and 8: Street segments that were 50 mph reducing to 45 mph

  • Glenoaks Boulevard between Osborne Street and Hollywood Way
  • Palisades Drive between Avenida de Santa Ynez and Sunset Boulevard
  • Sepulveda Boulevard between San Fernando Road and Roxford Street

If the speed limit reductions are approved by the committee, they will then go to the full city council and mayor for approval. Thirty days after final approval, the city would begin installing new signs and then enforcing the new speed limits.

There will likely be more L.A. City speed limit reductions on the way under additional provisions in A.B. 43. The bill allows municipalities to reduce speeds in “safety corridors” (to be defined by Caltrans) and business activity districts.

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