LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles City Council Friday adopted a resolution to implement a 15 mph speed limit on various streets near 45 schools in the city.
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The move is part of an effort to enhance public safety after a string of accidents, including one that resulted in the death of a mother and severe injury to her child while they were walking to school.
The council, in a 10-0 vote, approved the implementation of the speed limit without discussion. Council members Kevin de León, Heather Hutt, Monica Rodriguez and Curren Price were absent during the vote.
The council's Transportation Committee voted to recommend the speed limit after hearing a report from the city's Department of Transportation on June 14.
"This is the first installment of tactical improvements that LADOT is making this summer to enhance the safety around schools and protect school children -- the future of Los Angeles," Dan Mitchell, assistant general manager of DOT, told the panel of council members on the Transportation Committee.
DOT will establish "School Safety Zone" speed limits, and set up speed limit signs and other markings to provide drivers with notice of the new regulations. The reduced speed limit would only apply while children are going to or leaving school.
Los Angeles Police Department officers will enforce the speed limit, according to Mitchell. The DOT estimates it will cost approximately $153,750 to purchase and install the signs near the schools. Funds are available within the department's budget for the expenditure.
In 2012, DOT launched its Safe Routes to Schools strategic plan to implement a data-driven process to improve safety around school campuses. DOT and the Los Angeles Unified School District developed a methodology that considered various criteria to identify the top 50 schools in need.
The council adopted a resolution to establish 15 mph school zone speed limits at 11 of the top 50 schools in 2016. Mitchell said DOT implemented those school speed limits as part of a pilot program.
The council will now implement speed limits at the remaining 39 of the top 50 schools as well as six additional nearby schools -- five of which are in LAUSD and one private school.
According to Mitchell, the California Vehicle Code defines a school zone with the default speed limit of 25 mph -- but it allows a local authority to set a speed limit within the school zone that is lower than the speed limit in the surrounding neighborhood.
Mitchell told the Transportation Committee that DOT will share plans for installing speed humps around schools to further reduce vehicle speed and enhance safety at their next meeting.