Arroyo Seco Parkway/Photo by Martha Benedict
The curving Arroyo Seco Parkway – which opened more than 70 years ago as Los Angeles’ first freeway- was designed when traffic moved much more slowly. The combination of today’s faster, modern cars and trucks and the highway’s vintage design has lead to countless accidents over the years. How to make the historic highway safer? A recent $650,000 study – the Historic Arroyo Seco Parkway Corridor Partnership Plan – funded by Caltrans and other agencies included numerous proposals. But there is one that might not sit well with L.A.’s speed-loving motorists: lower the parkway speed limit to 45 mph from 55 mph. The Pasadena Star-News reports that the report recommends adopting a 45 mph on the 110 between Glenarm Street in Pasadena on the north and the 5 Freeway in Cypress Park. Tim Brick of Pasadena, president of the Arroyo Seco Foundation, told the Star-News:
“Because of the unusual way the parkway is designed with really short off- and onramps, it would enhance the safety of the parkway if there were a more reasonable speed limit.”
Caltrans has been free to lower the speed limit on the highway since the freeway was reclassified as a parkway. But it’s not clear when and if Caltrans will make that change. The highway agency recently finished a round of open houses to gather public reaction before preparing a final set of changes to be implemented. Of course, with so many motorists currently driving faster than 55 mph, how many would abide by a 45 mph limit?