Santa Monica Lookout
|Santa Monica Considers Putting the Brakes on Driving Speeds|
By Niki Cervantes
February 4, 2016 -- Drivers in Santa Monica will need to start slowing down soon if the City Council decides to apply the brakes next week on several City streets.
In a motion headed to the Council on February 9, the City would drop the speed limit on a variety of City streets, including some that were accidentally included in a 2013 survey of streets found able to handle speeds above 25 miles per hour -- the typical speed limit for City-run streets.
Slightly more than two dozen segments of City streets should be slowed down, although another two actually would see somewhat higher speeds.
Those street segments which should not have been posted at above 25 mph hour to begin with are:
-- Olympic Boulevard from 4th Street to 11th Street
On 26th Street, between the north City limit and Wilshire Boulevard, the current spend limit of 35 mph drops to 30 mph, making it consistent with other parts of 26th street, according to a report by Principal Traffic Engineer Andrew Maximous.
On Barnard Way, between Ocean Park Boulevard and Neilson Way, the current 30 mph speed limit drops to 25 miles per hour, a move prompted by the high amount of pedestrian foot traffic in the beach area.
At Exposition Boulevard, between Stewart Street and Centinela Avenue, the speed limit of 30 mph also drops to 25 mph, this time due to residential land use there. And on Lincoln Boulevard, between San Vicente Boulevard and Montana Avenue, the 30 mph speed limit drops to 25 mph as well.
On Ocean Park Boulevard, between Lincoln Boulevard and 14th Street, where the speed limit is now 35 mph, the drop is to 30 mph.
There are a couple of instances, though, where drivers would be allowed to drive faster.
The current 25 mph speed limit on 4th Street between Colorado Avenue and Pico would jump to 30 mph. The report said a large number of drivers – or the 85th percentile – already drive 37 mph there.
Meanwhile, on Marine Street, between Lincoln Boulevard and 17th Street, the 25 mph speed limit would also rise to 30 mph, a change that the report said is being prompted by the high number of drivers who already post speeds of 33 mph along that segment.
The City would tap the brakes even harder on a few other streets. Slowing down to 15 mph (instead of 25 mph) would be Bryn Mawr Avenue, from 16th Street to 18th Street; Sunset Avenue, from 16th Street to Dewey Street; and Wellesley Avenue from Ashland Avenue to 18th Street, the report recommended.
The ordinance goes to the City Council for its first reading at its February 9 meeting. The City uses engineering and traffic surveys to determine which speeds are most appropriate for City-run streets. It can increase or decrease the normal 25 mph as it deems appropriate to “facilitate the orderly movement of vehicular traffic “ in a “reasonable and safe” manner, the report noted.
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