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@
Here’s a sample letter:
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.