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Long Beach Reduces Speed Limits on 92 Miles of Streets

Release Date: 2023-09-27

The City of Long Beach recently launched a phased implementation of speed limit reductions on 92 miles of city streets as part of the citywide effort to improve roadway safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. Of these streets, 50 segments totaling 37.7 miles will receive new speed limits of 20 mph or lower. This action represents important progress toward the City’s Vision Zero goals, as outlined in the Safe Streets Long Beach Action Plan. Around the world, speed limit reductions have proven to be one of the most effective tools for reducing roadway fatalities in pursuit of Vision Zero goals.

In total, the speed limit reductions cover 111 street segments, including portions of major arterial corridors like 7th Street and Long Beach Boulevard as well as smaller residential neighborhood streets. Notable pedestrian-oriented business districts such as a portion of 2nd Street in Belmont Shore, Norse and Viking Ways in Lakewood Village, and a section of Pine Avenue in Downtown will see reductions down to 20 mph due to their high levels of retail and dining activity.

Residents can access a full map of the implemented and upcoming changes and more information about what to expect at longbeach.gov/speedlimits. City staff will continue to conduct speed surveys to enable speed limit updates, so residents can expect future rounds of reductions.

These reductions became possible with the passage of California State Assembly Bill 43 in 2021, which extended more authority to local jurisdictions to set their speed limits and permitted cities to set speed limits below 25 mph. Statutory changes modified the application of an engineering principle used to set speed limits known as the “85th percentile rule,” which historically resulted in an upward trend in speed limits even on roads with no engineering improvements. The law also created provisions allowing cities to reduce speed limits in “business activity districts,” which Long Beach applied to nine street segments totaling 3.5 miles, and along “safety corridors” with high pedestrian and bicyclist presence, which goes into effect in 2024.

Long Beach City Council unanimously approved staff recommendations for speed limit reductions in December 2022. With these changes, the City of Long Beach becomes one of the first cities in the state to enact AB43-related updates on its roadway network.

A full list and map of the changes can be found at longbeach.gov/speedlimits. Keep an eye out for the new signs, and remember: Slower is safer!

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