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POLICE WANT SPEED LIMITS TO BE RAISED.

Byline: Naush Boghossian Staff Writer

GLENDALE - The City Council introduced an ordinance Tuesday night to raise the speed limit by five to 10 miles per hour in portions of 32 local streets to allow for effective speed enforcement by the police.

Without the ordinance, officers said they were handcuffed in their ability to enforce the law effectively.

``Please give us the tools to do our job,'' Sgt. Lewie Guay appealed to the council.

The proposed speed limit adjustments are a result of surveys that determined the speed at or below which 85 percent of the drivers in the speed sample were traveling - a rate that is considered safe and reasonable.

The new speed limits based on the surveys would allow officers to use radar or laser equipment to gauge the speed of drivers and ticket them.

If the City Council does not vote to increase the speed limits at their meeting next week, the police will be forced to estimate drivers' speed by keeping pace with cars - a tactic that introduces a public hazard, officers said.

``The radar gives them (the police) a chance,'' said Councilman Dave Weaver.

Some residents expressed their concerns that the increase in speed limits would create a dangerous environment for pedestrians and in areas near schools.

``The signal the city should be sending to the public is we should slow down, not speed up,'' said Glendale resident Bob Goetz.

But city officials explained that the higher speed limits did not necessarily mean people would be driving faster.

``There is a misconception that when you increase the speed limit by 5 or 10 mph, people are going to drive 5 or 10 mph above the new speed limit,'' said Jano Baghdanian, the city's traffic and transportation administrator.

Street segments that would increase from 25 to 30 mph include Chevy Chase Drive from Glenoaks Boulevard to Charing Cross Road and Glenoaks Boulevard from Avonoak Terrace to Sleepy Hollow Drive.

Street segments on Broadway from San Fernando Road to Wilson Avenue would increase 10 mph to 35 mph as well as on Chevy Chase Drive from the western city limit to Glenoaks Boulevard.

The council approved increasing the speed limits on 57 street segments in December 2001 to meet the requirements of the California Vehicle Code for speed zoning and to ensure the city's legal position with regard to the enforcement of speeds on those street segments.

Naush Boghossian, (818) 546-3306

naush.boghossian(at)dailynews.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 10, 2003
Words:408
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