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Fast and Furious LA-Style: Raising the Speed Limit to Raise Revenue

Don’t call the cops on me but I admit to having a heavy foot when I’m behind the wheel, always pushing the speed limit by a few miles an hour.

It’s stupid I know; I don’t really get anywhere but a few seconds faster. But it’s not as dumb as the officials in the state’s largest city going along for a ride on a state law that requires raising the speed limit in order for cops to use radar when most vehicles are moving at or above the posted limit.

This does mean much to Westsiders who seem to enjoy gridlocked streets caused by over-development. But in the Valley with its broad streets and lower density, it means the new speed limit city officials have approved for Corbin Avenue in my area and many other streets will go to 45 or even 50 mph.

That’s crazy since many drivers will go five miles an hour over the posted speed limit and the threat to pedestrians, cyclists, children will be even greater than it is today.

Fortunately, Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, D-Burbank, who’s considering a run to succeed Wendy Greuel representing the East Valley on the LA City Council, is pushing AB766, the Safe Streets Bill, which would allow cities with the help of Neighborhood Councils to set rational speed limits that put safety first.

Krekorian has provided a fact sheet (speedfacts.doc) that explains the issue in detail.
 
Community activist Stephen Box and the Bike Writers Collective he’s part of are organizing support for AB766, including a citizen lobbying effort in Sacramento.

On Monday, they are coordinating an email campaign to take to Sacramento in advance of a committee hearing. So if you want to stop me and others from driving too fast send an email to SafeStreets@BikeWritersCollective.com. Do it now, I am.

Here’s a sample letter:

Hi,

I
am writing to ask for your support of Assistant Majority Leader Paul
Krekorian’s Safe Streets Bill, AB 766. This legislation is an important
tool that will empower local governments to retain existing speed
limits in their neighborhoods. With this bill, neighborhood councils
 will be able to address the dangerous trend of rising speed
limits, which have unfortunately led to accidents with pedestrians and
bicyclists and, in a few tragic cases, fatalities. These engineering
studies – under which the speed limits have been creeping up -
 fail to take into account the human element of traffic and end up endangering our neighbors.

Quite simply, the Safe Streets Bill aims
to provide local governments with an additional tool to keep the speeds
traveled on local roads at a safe level for drivers, pedestrians, and
communities as a whole. The legislation balances the ability of drivers
to safely drive on city streets at a reasonable speed with the needs of
bicyclists, residents and pedestrians to be able to access those same
streets without an undue risk of a collision, thus enhancing both
community safety and traffic flow.

And it is just that aspect of community under which I ask for your support. The
Safe Streets Bill is scheduled to be heard by the Assembly
Transportation Committee on May 11, a hearing during which I will
present the legislation and its supporters. We would be honored
 if you wrote a letter or passed a resolution to back this bill and give local governments the tools necessary to protect their families and neighbors. 

If you have any more questions about this bill or how you can support this legislation, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Thank you,

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13 Responses to Fast and Furious LA-Style: Raising the Speed Limit to Raise Revenue

  1. spiffy says:

    Now if the state would make all drivers take the WRITTEN test over again every 4 years, just to refresh their memories about how to make left turns, how to signal when changing lanes, what the rules are at a 4-way stop, and why your child needs a car seat, especially when the top is down in a convertible, I would get excited about that.

  2. Bob says:

    This is a way to get unrealistic low speed limits for the city to get more revenue, like the right-turn problem with the red light cameras. This is not in the name of safety, it is in the name to get more revenue.
    The law does allow for lower speed limits for special conditions now, why do we need the “Get more revenue” law on the books.
    The trick is, which I have seen in Georgia, is the speed limit on a street is 55, the terrain and density does not change, only one small speed limit sign on the right that is most of the time hidden by other vehicle when one is in the fast lane, drops the speed limit to 45 for a mile, then returns to 55. (Duluth Georgia on Peachtree Industrial Blvd.)

  3. ellen vukovich says:

    In Sherman Oaks, the city wants to raise the speed limit by 5 miles per hour on Riverside Avenue. Because of this new law, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation has decided that this justifies the removal of a safety crosswalk at a pivotal corner (Sunnyslope and Riverside) that services two schools (Notre Dame High School and Milikan Middle School, nearby Fashion Square mall and more on a very busy street. We’ve been told that that this crosswalk doesn’t meet nationwide standards for keeping it in place. Never mind that many visitors to Notre Dame have to park on Riverside and nearby residential streets for the numerous sports and other school activities and have to use that crosswalk. Never mind that we are also talking about a locale by a school that should have been classified a school safety zone years ago (with reduced speed limits). Never mind that we are talking about the potential for saving human lives. Instead, it will be up to our community’s various active groups to help show LADOT that “standards” don’t always make common sense. Although we have been assured that with the community coming together in opposition, LADOT will probably leave the crosswalk in place. And, I suspect some will also work on the safety zone aspect.
    This serves as a good example of what means to take our city back one block at a time.

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  11. Tim Frank says:

    Seems like a ridiculous idea, they should be lowering it.

  12. Tim Frank says:

    Seems like a ridiculous idea, they should be lowering it.

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