Council Approves Efforts to Make LA Streets Safer, More Family Friendly

LOS ANGELES (November 9, 2021) – Councilmember Mike Bonin is leading the charge to curb speeding and improve street safety in our neighborhoods.

Acting on authority granted by new state laws, the Los Angeles City Council today approved proposals from Bonin to reduce speed limits on neighborhood streets, and make permanent a pandemic-era program Bonin started to create “family-friendly streets.”

Bonin’s first proposal directs the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the Office of the City Attorney to quickly draft an ordinance that reduces speed limits on nearly 200 miles of streets throughout the city.

Since the 1950s, State law has rigidly controlled how local jurisdictions can set speed limits on local streets, using an arcane formula based on the speed that motorists are already driving. That meant streets with a lot of speeding cars got even higher speed limits, leading to unsafe neighborhoods and fatal collisions. New legislation by Assemblymember Laura Friedman, recently signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, allows cities to consider the safety of vulnerable road users when setting speed limits on streets with a history of collisions, with special attention to places where people walk and bike. It also allows Los Angeles to roll back speed limit increases that were approved several years ago.

“We have an epidemic of speeding in our neighborhoods, and it has to stop,” said Bonin, one of the region’s leading pedestrian safety advocates. “I am enormously grateful that Assemblywoman Friedman’s common sense bill ended one of the dumbest and most illogical laws I’ve ever encountered.”

Bonin’s second proposal instructs city agencies to make permanent pedestrian-safety measures established during the early days of COVID quarantines when parents with young children were eager for safe places for their kids to run or exercise. With schools and parks closed, Bonin successfully urged Mayor Eric Garcetti to use emergency powers to direct LADOT to allow partial road closures and signage indicating certain roads were “slow streets.”  The “family-friendly streets” program was quickly embraced by 30 neighborhoods across the city, with 50 miles of streets now included in the program. Legislation by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian gives the city the authority to keep and expand the program.

“This is a huge win for our neighborhoods,” Bonin said. “This is a major new tool to calm traffic, increase opportunities for our kids to play, and connect residents with safe routes to local neighborhood destinations.”

The City Council also approved a Bonin proposal to give LADOT and LA Metro the authority to use technology to enforce against motorists who illegally park in bus-only lanes.

Bonin’s legislation continues his work to provide safe, convenient, and accessible options for people to get around neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Bonin’s Westside Fast Forward initiative has included game-changing efforts like expanding the rail system in LA, and crucial local improvements, like the measures called for in this most recent legislation. For more information about Bonin’s Westside Fast Forward initiative, please visit https://11thdistrict.com/westsidefastforward.

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