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Thursday, July 24, 2014
City lowers speed limit to 30 mph
Council cites traffic and pedestrian safety concerns

Noting the steady traffic on Long Beach streets — both four-wheeled and two-legged — the City Council voted unanimously at its July 16 meeting to reduce the speed limit in the city from 35 miles per hour to 30.

The change means that Long Beach will have a uniform speed limit of 30 mph, with the exception of 15-mph restrictions in the President Streets and parts of the West End.

At a public hearing, city officials noted drivers’ confusion about speed limits, with many unaware of the 35-mph limit on East Park Avenue between Long Beach Road and Maple Boulevard, and on Long Beach Road north of Park Avenue.

“There seemed to be some confusion as to the speed limits along Park Avenue and along Long Beach Road,” said Corey Klein, the city’s corporation counsel. “The signs indicated that the speed limit throughout the City of Long Beach was 30 miles per hour … on Park Avenue, [but] if you come in from Lido, there was a sign that said 35 miles per hour. So it created a lot of confusion …”

Klein said that the move would create a uniform speed limit that will enhance safety. “It’s a 30-mile-per-hour limit on the streets, except on those streets that the City Council has authority to make 15 miles per hour, for example in the Canals and West End,” he said. “Hopefully this will create a safer environment for our residents.”

The measure comes after the City Council voted in September to reduce the speed limit from 30 to 15 mph in the President Streets.

Many mentioned that the speed limit drops from 40 mph to 30 on Lido Boulevard, heading west toward Long Beach, but bumps up to 35 on Park Avenue. “The big concern is that when traffic comes in front of the East End shopping area, people feel very vulnerable in that area when they cross the street,” Councilman Len Torres said. “The big problem we have is double parking in that area, whether you’re going to get a pizza or something in the deli there. It creates a dangerous situation.”

Councilman John McLaughlin asked whether a traffic study had been conducted, and if there had been an increase in speeding tickets issued to drivers. “Sometimes stricter enforcement cuts down on people racing the lights,” McLaughlin said.

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