LA City Council

LA adopts a 15 mph speed limit near 45 schools

The reduced speed limit approved by the LA City Council for streets near 45 schools would only apply while children are going to or leaving school.

A 15 mph speed limit will be implemented near more than three dozen schools after the resolution was adopted Friday at the Los Angeles City Council meeting.

The move is part of a safety effort following a series of traffic accidents, including one that killed a mother and severely injured her child as they walked to school. The family members were hit by a pickup truck when they were in a crosswalk near a Mid Wilshire school.

The resolution passed in a 10-0 vote. Council members Kevin de León, Heather Hutt, Monica Rodriguez and Curren Price were absent during the vote.

The limit will be implemented near 45 schools in the city.

"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.

The LA Department of Transportation will establish School Safety Zone speed limits and set up speed limit signs and other markings to make driver aware of the 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. 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. Those speed limits were implemented 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.

California Vehicle Code defines a school zone with the default speed limit of 25 mph -- but it allows a local authorities to set a speed limit within the school zone that is lower than the speed limit in the surrounding neighborhood.

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