The City of Long Beach recently launched a phased implementation of reducing speed limits 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 will receive new speed limits of 20-mph or lower; the remaining streets, including 7th Street and other major corridors, will receive a 5-mph speed limit reduction. This action represents important progress toward the City’s Vision Zero goals, as outlined in the Safe Streets Long Beach Action Plan.
“The City of Long Beach is leading the way in making our streets safer for all types of commuters,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “Not only will these changes encourage more walking and bicycling, reduce noise, and enrich our neighborhoods and business districts— but these speed limit reductions can help save lives.”
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. The 92 miles of city streets were selected based on the City’s High-Injury Network, a map outlining the intersections and corridors in the city with reported pedestrian, bicyclist and motorists’ injuries.
Corridors with new speed limits include Long Beach Boulevard, Cherry Avenue and Orange Avenue in North Long Beach; Easy Avenue, Willow Street and Burnett Avenue in West Long Beach; Carson Street, Stearns Avenue and Atherton Street in East Long Beach; and multiple streets in Central and Downtown Long Beach such as 10th Street, 7th Street, 3rd Street and Pine Avenue. Residents can access a full map of the implemented and upcoming changes and more information about what to expect at longbeach.gov/speedlimits.
“I am proud that Long Beach can set a standard for implementation of AB43 with these speed limit reductions,” said Eric Lopez, Director of Public Works. “We thoughtfully applied the new tools at their disposal to promote a safe systems approach. This work is just the beginning; we will continue to use new sections of the law designed to promote pedestrian and bicyclist safety as they go into effect.”
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.
The Long Beach City Council approved with a 6 to 0 vote the 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. City staff will continue to use new speed survey evaluation techniques in ongoing speed limit updates so residents can expect future rounds of reductions as well.
A full list of effected areas and map of the changes can be found at longbeach.gov/speedlimits.
About the City of Long Beach
Long Beach is nestled along the Southern California coast and home to approximately 466,000people. As an award-winning full-service charter city, Long Beach offers the amenities of a metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods, culture and community. With a bustling downtown and over six miles of scenic beaches, Long Beach is a renowned tourist and business destination and home to the iconic Queen Mary, nationally recognized Aquarium of the Pacific and Long Beach Airport, award-winning Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center and world-class Port of Long Beach.
For more information about the City of Long Beach, visit longbeach.gov/. Follow us on social to keep up with the latest news: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. For more information about the Department of Public Works, visit longbeach.gov/pw and follow on Facebook, X and Instagram.