Los Angeles reducing speed limit by 5 mph on many city streets

The Los Angeles City Council approved a proposal from the Department of Transportation to reduce speeds by 5 mph on more than 177 miles of city streets.

The proposal was approved on Feb. 22.

The proposal was previously advanced by the council's Transportation Committee on Feb. 15. On Tuesday, the council unanimously adopted an ordinance amending the Los Angeles Municipal Code to change the speed limits on the proposed streets.

The ordinance next needs to be approved by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who previously expressed support for the change. Once approved, the ordinance will take effect a month after its publication.

"I am thrilled to be able to restore saner speed limits to 177 miles of city streets," Councilman Mike Bonin, who chairs the committee, said last week.

The change, which is aimed at preventing deadly accidents, was made possible following the passage of Assembly Bill 43, which took effect this year, giving cities more control over their speed limits. It was introduced by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale.

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"Thanks to the new law by Assemblymember Laura Friedman, our neighborhoods will no longer be subject to speed creep inflicted by the most dangerous drivers," Bonin said.

Before the new law went into effect, LADOT was required to increase speeds on 200 miles of the city's streets. According to the department, a pedestrian hit by a vehicle going 20 mph has a 90% change of surviving, but the chance shrinks to only 10% if a vehicle is going 40 mph.

The department hopes that lowering speeds will decrease the severity of injuries, as well as give drivers more time to react to a potential collision.

"Nothing is more important than the safety of our residents and every single decision we make prioritizes their well-being," Garcetti said in a statement provided by LADOT on Feb. 15.

"We've fought for the ability to lower our speed limits for years, and this proposal will help make our streets safer for everyone who uses them."

The full list of streets that would have their speed limits lowered is available online here.

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