Sunday 12 April 2009

Speed madness in California

Drawing outrage from local residents and activists, a city panel Wednesday recommended increasing the speed limits on four busy San Fernando Valley roadways, including one near California State University, Northridge, that has seen an uptick in pedestrian accidents.

Speeds could eventually increase by 5 mph on two sections of Zelzah Avenue, which runs by CSUN and several local public schools, where in the past seven months there have been seven pedestrians struck by cars, including two fatally. The region around the campus saw 88 car accidents involving pedestrians in 2007, a 21 percent increase from 2005.

The state requires a review of speed limits every seven years and law enforcement officials must recommend limits within 5 mph of the actual speed that 85 percent of the motorists on a road use on a regular basis.

If approved, speeds will increase on Zelzah Avenue from 30 to 35 mph between Rinaldi Street and San Fernando Mission Boulevard. Speeds will jump 5 mph between Chatsworth and Nordhoff streets to 40 mph.