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'Safe Streets Bill' Heads to Committee Hearing

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All over the Valley (and soon spreading into Hollywood, Westwood and beyond), speed limits are increasing and not because there is a need for better traffic flow. "Because of state law, when local government wants to use radar enforcement, they have to use up- to-date traffic surveys to justify the posted speed limit," Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, who this year introduced a bill to change the law to help protect cyclists and pedestrians, explained at a press conference this afternoon.

"Unfortunately," Krekorian continued, "these traffic surveys take into account the average speed that drivers are using on that street, which means that as speeders continue to increase the average speed limit, local government feels forced to increase the posted speed limit. Of course, as soon as that happens, the speeders go a little faster and it's an endless cycle of mayhem on our streets."

Wendy Greuel, the city's current chair of the Transportation committee is not thrilled with the law that was originally intended to protect people from police speed traps. "If 85% of the people were driving on Burbank Boulevard at 65 miles per hour, we would have to raise the rate to 65 miles per hour on that street if we wanted to enforce the law by radar," she vented. "So we only have two choices--to raise it or not enforce the law."