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L.A. Mayor Approves 177 Miles of Speed Limit Reductions

Earlier today, Mayor Eric Garcetti signed a new ordinance [council file 21-1223] that reduces speed limits on 177 miles of L.A. City streets. In his signing ceremony (broadcast via Twitter) Garcetti acknowledged that "far too many Angelenos die in traffic collisions... [which] kill disproportionately in low income, Black, and Latinx communities."

Garcetti acknowledged that this round of speed limit reductions were the result of the hard work of livability advocates, the city's Transportation Department (LADOT), City Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Paul Koretz, as well as State Assemblymember Laura Friedman. Friedman took on naysayers in a multi-year effort to reform California's absurd archaic speed limit laws, which mandate a pseudo-scientific 85th Percentile criteria that forces cities to incrementally creep speed limits ever upward. Friedman's A.B. 43 carved out several important exceptions to that rule, making it legal for cities to now consider safety concerns when setting speed limits - as well as allowing municipalities to roll back some recent speed limit increases.

Soon after the passage of A.B. 43, LADOT reviewed recent speed limit increases, and found 177 miles of city streets where reductions were warranted and allowed under the new law. Those decreases were approved by the City Council Transportation Committee and by the full City Council in February.

Garcetti's signature today makes the speed limit reductions city law, though they go into effect after at least thirty days - and after the city has replaced current signage. LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds today announced that the limits will be in effect "by June of this year." Today, as well as at the Transportation Committee meeting last month, Reynolds made it clear that while the current round of speed limit reductions is significant and unprecedented, additional California speed limit reform is still needed. "We will keep going... [we will] stay in this fight 'til it's done," she promised.

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