LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — City transportation officials said Thursday they now have the funding to construct several dozen speed humps in the upcoming year, which would mark the return of a popular program discontinued amid budget cuts in 2009.
Since the city halted its "citywide speed hump program" -- originally set up in 1994 -- requests have continued to pour in, with more than 800 requests made between July 2013 and this March, city officials said.
The fiscal 2016-17 budget approved by the City Council this month includes $540,000 to resume speed bump construction, but did not contain funding for the staffing needed to oversee the projects, transportation officials told the Los Angeles City Council's Transportation Committee today.
Transportation officials are now proposing taking half of the construction dollars -- about $270,000 -- to use toward the salaries of employees who would operate the speed hump program.
Transportation Department General Manager Seleta Reynolds said it could take about six months to hire the needed employees and do the outreach to restart the program.
"There is a lot of leg work that needs to be done to get the word out, to make sure that folks ... across the entire city who may or may not be aware of this kind of opportunity know it, know how to use it, get assistance in applying for it, if they have a good project, etcetera," Reynolds said.
Transportation officials said they plan to do 30 speed hump projects in the upcoming year, with two "priority" projects in each of the 15 council districts in order to promote the program citywide. In the second year, the projects would go back to being prioritized based on need, which would be decided by either the traffic volume or car speeds along the streets.
The speed hump projects have traditionally been funded with state gas tax money, which at the program's height covered installations in as many as 200 locations in one year. Between 1994 and 2009, the program funded 3,700 speed humps at more than 1,450 sites, city officials said.
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