Saturday, November 15, 2008

CityWatchLA - Neighborhood Council to LADOT: “Slow Down!”

CityWatch, Nov 14, 2008
Vol 6 Issue 92

Safe Streets Watch
By Stephen Box

On the eve of the Transportation Commission's meeting to consider speed limit increases for a half dozen streets in the west Valley, the Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council Board voted to call for a moratorium on the increases until the LADOT includes the Neighborhood Councils in the process and provides 60-day notification of any proposed changes.

The vote came at the Board's regularly scheduled meeting and just six days after the LADOT notified the NC Board of the proposed speed limit increases for streets such as Mulholland Drive, Corbin Avenue, Saticoy Street, Wells Drive, White Oak Avenue and Fallbrook Avenue.

At issue was the simple fact that the LADOT has spent a year engaged in the process of evaluating the streets, conducting speed surveys and preparing recommendations for the City Council office, the LAPD and the City Attorney, but never notified the Neighborhood Council until the week prior to the Transportation Commission's meeting to approve the recommended speed limits.

Officer Troy Williams of the LAPD attended the meeting and spoke in favor of the speed limit increases saying "Speed limits enforced by radar must be justified with speed limit surveys and the surveys indicate that the speed limits on these streets are too low."

Meanwhile, CityWatch readers have been emailing their comments to both the state and local level, calling for a revision to the 85 percentile rule used to set speed limits, for the use of alternative methods of traffic control and for greater involvement of the community in the process of setting local speed limits. Here’s a sampling.

  • "How long is government going to accommodate those who break the laws at the expense of the rest of us." --Chatsworth
  • "This goes directly against the Complete Streets law and only favors motorist. Wendy Greuel was at the Mid City West board meeting last night, and stated that LADOT no longer abides by the philosophy of "speed up cars" - She said that was a thing of the past" --Mid City
  • "I don't know if my street is one of the 20 being contemplated to have speed limits raised based on the speed of the idiots who careen through our neighborhood but it is a sorry day when those agencies that are responsible for planning have totally dropped the ball, and now seek to solve a problem by further risking our safety. What next when they break the new limit - increase it again?" --Granada Hills
  • "Our practice of setting speed limits based on the 85th percentile in conjunction with our radar rule, has contributed to making our streets unsafe for cyclists, pedestrians, seniors and children walking to school." --Local Traffic Engineer
  • "While I do not pretend to know the ins and outs of the state laws that regulate speed limits on residential streets in Los Angeles, I do know that I want to have input to the speed limits in my neighborhood. I, as well as my 1,100 neighbors in our homeowner association, know our neighborhood better that a bureaucrat who answers to the state government in Sacramento..." --Mid City
  • "Please allow local communities the right to decide their own neighborhood traffic protocols." Toluca Lake
  • "Speed limits for our streets should be set based on the unique character of our streets, our woodsy neighborhood and our friendly community while accommodating the many pedestrians and cyclists who use our serene streets. Note that many of our Toluca streets DO NOT have sidewalks." --Toluca Lake
  • "WHY WERE OUR VOICES NOT HEARD? The Woodland Hills Warner Center Neighborhood Council and the Woodland Hill Homeowners Organization are both well-known and active groups that are entitled to be informed of and involved in any discussion on choices and decisions related to the safety and livability of the community." --Woodland Hills
  • "I have been unable to get my Councilwoman of the City DOT to do anything about the degradation of safety due to increased traffic volume, excessive speed, design flaw and disregard for safety of the local neighborhood by a majority of the motorists who use it." --Tujunga Canyon
  • "Glad to see you are fighting the good fight." --ReACT (Residents Against Cut-thru Traffic)
  • "Provide local communities real tools for traffic enforcement including a "soft floor" on the 85th percentile rule, a reduction in the reliance on the 85th percentile rule and support from Caltrans in the use of alternative methods of traffic control." --All City
(Stephen Box is a transportation and cyclist activist and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at

No comments: