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Supervisors Take Second Step to Reduce Speed Limits on Unincorporated LA County Streets

Just last week, a car jumped the sidewalk and slammed into a restaurant in the Westlake community. Image and more via KTLA : https://ktla.com/news/local-news/something-out-of-the-movies-car-flies-into-westlake-tommys-sending-driver-to-hospital-and-damaging-multiple-parked-cars/

"Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for L.A. County youth."

Supervisor Hilda Solis, co-author of a motion that could lead to speed limit decreases across unincorporated Los Angeles County, reminded her colleagues that speed kills children at a disproportionate rate. After over four and a half hours of public comment and discussion of other issues (including the L.A. River Master Plan and possible gun control legislation), Solis was the only Supervisor who spoke on the issue of lowering speed limits before the board rapidly passed the motion.

Last year, State Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) authored A.B. 43 which was passed by the legislature and signed into law. This legislation changed the formula that municipalities can use to set speed limits to take safety into greater account. Since it went into effect, road owners (mostly cities and smaller municipalities) have started adjusting their speed limits downward. In March, the City of Los Angeles moved to lower speed limits on 177 miles of city-controlled streets.

"A.B. 43 grants local jurisdictions the flexibility to set speed limits based on the context of their own communities, specifically when roadways are resulting in increased traffic-related crashes," wrote Active SGV in a letter to the Supervisors. "In doing so, the County of Los Angeles will have more power to respond to traffic safety needs and create safer local conditions for people to walk, bike, ride transit, and travel."

Today's motion, introduced by both Solis and Supervisor Janice Hahn, seeks to create a program similar to the city's for Los Angeles County. It calls on the Department of Public Works and County Council to write any ordinances the Supervisors would need to change speed limits under A.B. 43, and for Public Works and the Department of Public Health to identify streets where the county can and should lower speed limits. The motion is #25 on today's agenda, or you can read it on Active SGV's Twitter account.

Earlier in the meeting, Pastor Patricia Strong-Fargas, co-chair of Faith for SAFEr Streets, and Senior Pastor for Mt. Salem New-Wave Christian Fellowship Church, made an emotional plea for this legislation to pass.

“As a pastor, as a community worker, and as an advocate: we need to slow the streets from cars…we have buried so many people from these tragic accidents because of speed," Strong-Fargas testified. "I am asking that you support Item 25 so that no other person can get that call that their loved one is not coming home.”

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