15 Mile Per Hour School Zone

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Ten years after LADOT launched its Safe Routes to School Strategic Plan with 15mph zone, when children are present, there is ambiguity if it is completed at the initial 45 schools.

Statistics indicate  traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for those between 2 and 14 years old. With nearly 56 percent of all fatal and severe injury collisions occurring within a one-quarter mile of a school.  

Then in 2012, the LADOT launched its Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Strategic Plan to implement a data-driven process to improve safety around school campuses.

In 2016, Council adopted a resolution to establish school zone speed limits at 11 of the top 50 schools in the City.  

Ten years after the "Safe Routes to School" the L.A. Department of Transportation requested authority, May 16, 2023, from the City Council to change from 25 miles per hour to 15 mile per hour speed limits in School Zones on 98 street segments adjacent to 45 schools in the City. The resolution would establish a "School Safety Zone" with speed limits of "15 Miles Per Hour When Children Are Present". That resolution was passed a month later, June 25th.

The initial estimate to authorize, purchase, and install the signs and posts at 45 schools on overtime is $153,750. The funds are available within LADOT's Fiscal Year 22/23 and 23/24 budgets to absorb this cost.

The schools in the SFV designated for the new speed limit included:

  • Panorama City Elementary School - 1 street
  • Van Nuys Elementary School - 4 streets

By November 1st a new proposal requested an additional 200 schools be included in the new designated speed limit. 14-0348-S1_rpt_tran_11-1-23.pdf (lacity.org)

Councilman Soto-Martinez, in his Dec 2023 report, said "11 schools in CD13 will be receiving new 15mph speed limit zones over the course of the next year, with more 15mph zones coming soon to the rest of the schools in the district!

 The California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 22358.4.(b).(1).(A) defines a school zone and allows a local authority, by ordinance or resolution, to set a speed limit within the school zone that is lower than the speed limit in the surrounding neighborhood. The default school zone speed limit is 25 miles per hour (mph), but the CVC allows for 15-mph school zones on streets that meet specific criteria. The reduced speed limit only applies while children are going to or leaving school

14-0348-S1_rpt_DOT_05-16-23.pdf (lacity.org)

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