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Transportation Panel Okays Increased Speed Limit on Riverside Drive

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The controversial issue of increasing the speed limit along Riverside Drive between the Burbank border and Van Nuys Boulevard in Sherman Oaks was approved by a L.A. City Council committee in a 2 to 1 vote yesterday. The proposal, which will up the limit from 35 to 40 m.p.h., will be considered by the full City Council on March 5th.

"We are comfortable with the idea in order achieve enforcement that this will have to occur," said John Hisserich, a representative of Councilman Paul Krekorian, whose district includes a major portion of Riverside. "But we are very adamant that we are working very closely with LADOT to see if traffic calming can be done along there."

As a state legislator, Krekorian had tried to change a state law that forces cities seeking to use radar enforcement to survey traffic speeds and set new limits based on the results. "We understand the issue very well," explained Hisserich.

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And even if Krekorian was successful, Damien Newton at LA Streetsblog notes that the federal government must also approve the change. "In the era of term limits, a legislator could spend his entire time in office focused solely on this issue," he said.

One change, however, to the proposal was approved by the panel. At the request of the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council, Riverside Drive will remain at 35 mph between the Burbank border and Vineland avenue, per an amendment. LAPD agreed, citing no dangerous speeding issues in that section.

Another amendment included was to have staff monitor performance of the road and report back 90 days after the installation of new speed limit signs.

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