Tuesday, April 07, 2009

CityWatchLA - The Valley on Speed

CityWatch, Apr 10, 2009
Vol 7 Issue 28

Our City's leadership, elbow firmly on the pulse of the community, is considering LADOT/LAPD proposals to increase speed limits on several Valley streets.

As neighborhoods throughout LA recoil in shock at the recent wave of pedestrian deaths, our City Council Transportation Committee continues to ignore the simple fact that speed kills.

On Wednesday afternoon, Committee Chair Wendy Greuel and Councilmembers LaBonge, Rosendahl, Parks and Alarcon, will decide if the speed limits on Victory Blvd., DeSoto Ave., Balboa Blvd., and Zelzah Ave., should be increased. Zelzah Ave. was recently in the news as the location where Victoria Santos, 60, stepped into the crosswalk with a green light, only to be struck and killed by a motorist in a pickup truck.

Lassen's speed limit was increased by City Council action last year along with streets throughout the Valley.

Zelzah's speed limit was almost increased last year but an uproar from the community resulted in the proposal getting pulled at the last minute.

The speed limit proposals seem to come in small batches of up to six streets, usually spread out so that only one or two increases occur within any Neighborhood Council area. In spite of this low impact approach to increasing the speed limits throughout the Valley, NC's have gone to great lengths to oppose the increases. Woodland Hills-Warner Center NC has appealed to the LAPD, the LADOT, the Transportation Commission and the Transportation Committee, all in an effort to prevent the speed limits in their community from being raised.

The City Council put their relationship with the Neighborhood Councils in perspective when it ignored the wishes of the people and raised the speed limit on Mulholland.

As for the upcoming increases, the LADOT and the LAPD argue that their hands are tied, that State law treats all cities alike, from Mayberry to Los Angeles, and that if we are to certify our streets for radar and lasar speed limit enforcement, we must raise the limits.

Los Angeles is the largest city in the most populated state in the most powerful country in the world. For our leadership to claim helplessness is to argue for mediocrity.

People are dying in our crosswalks. Our streets aren't safe for our most vulnerable of loved ones. Now is the time for our leadership to work with the Neighborbood Councils to make our city safer, not faster!

Councilman Zine has introduced a resolution calling for a revision to the law governing the establishment of speed limits. It won't go anywhere until the City Council joins him in making this resolution a priority.

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