Ideally, you would be better off by contacting the city of West Hollywood and report the missing sign. Once that is done, give it a week or so and then submit a CPRA request for any work orders issued by the city to replace any missing speed limit signs. At the same time, you request copies of any documents that indicate the location and date of installation of any peed limit signs on that stretch or roadway. Even then, replacing a sign say on July 21st is not sufficient proof that it was missing on the date you were cited so you also need to approach them with some tact to see if they would help you out, by including whether they knew or not whether it was missing on such and such a date. It might work!
Other than that, you can bet the officer will testify that it was posted.
I have to give it to them; that has got to be the most conclusive survey I have seen in quite some time. But it still FAILS!
Anyway... A survey that is conducted on 03/31/2011 would have to follow the guidelines of the 2010 CA-MUTCD which you can download here, if not the entire document, then at least PART 2: SIGNS. We are interested in particular in Section 2B.13 which starts at the bottom of page 2B-6.
I was going to be brief in describing a survey that, on its face, appears to justify the posted limit of 35mph. But I'll cover as much as I can and you come back with questions if you have any
For starters, I do disagree with the specific reasoning that the engineer outlined in the 3 points she included in her analysis. Meaning, in point 1, she states:
The two year accident history within this section revealed that there were 5 speed related accidents. Three of the 5 accidents within this segment were rear-end collisions
OK, the primary collision factor for most rear end collisions is indeed "unsafe speed".
But that is not how those values are compared nor is it how we evaluate whether those collisions are sufficient reason to reduce the speed limit. Typically, the number of collisions is calculated into a comparable value which is later weighed against a standard for the city, county or state. In this case, it is compared to the value described as "Collisions Per Million Vehicle Miles (C/MVM) which equals 3.55 (page 1 under "Safety Values"...)
So how do we convert that 5 accident figure into C/MVM?
C/MVM =(cX10^6)/(365 X y X l X v)
Where c = # speed related collisions (in this case = 5), y = # of years data was collected (in this case = 2), l = length of segment in miles (in this case = 0.705 miles), v = vpd or traffic volume per day (in this case = 20301).
C/MVM = ( 5 X 10^6 ) / ( 365 X 2 X 0.705 X 20301) = 5,000,000 / 10,447,909.65 = 0.47856
Compare that to 3.55, it is much lower that the standard expected.
Therefore Accident data is no valid reason to reduce the limit.
In point # 2 she attempts to pad the numbers in point # 1. And while she admits that those categories should not count, yet she still wants to count them. Fact is regardless of how you look at it, only "Speed Related Collisions" should be included in such an analysis. So point # 2 does not add much to her reasoning.
In point # 3 she is simply getting desperate claiming that a 5mph reduction would increase reaction time of motorists; well, a 10 mph reduction would increase it even more but that is not a valid reason to reduce the speed limit... So now what?
Well, let us assume that a judge looking at the survey can see the second paragraph on that second page. (starts with: San Vicente Boulevard is designated as an arterial in the City of West Hollywood General Plan.... and it ends with "...with parking on both sides of the roadway".
If you were to look at page 2B-8 of the 2010 CA-MUTCD, you'll see (under "Options") that
We've already discussed section E. Reported crash experience for at least a 12-month period.. As for Pace speed, better described as "the 10mph pace speed" or the 10mph segment which contains the maximum number of vehicles surveyed", if we are to assume a linear distribution of drivers over that 10 mph range, we can see that for the northbound segment/direction, with a 10mph pace range between 33mph and 42mph, the setting of the speed limit at 35mph would actually place a disproportionate number (equal to 80%) of those drivers at a speed where they are technically, in violation of the law (i.e. in excess of the safe speed of 35mph).Quoting Page 2B-8 2010 CA-MUTCD
Additionally, if we were to look at the 50% percentile speed, with it being at 37mph, by setting the speed limit at 35, then we are making more that 50% of drivers into violators. In fact if we were to count # of drivers from the top down until we reach the 35mph speed, you can see that bottom up, you can see that 67% of drivers would be in violation of the 35mpg limit whereas only 33% of drivers are in compliance...
Well, fact is, there was one more error that was committed here in this survey. The calculation here is easy, however, to lay the proper foundation for it, let me turn your attention to Page 2B-98 of the 2010 CA-MUTCD. You can see Figure 2B-104... In the right most column in that figure, it shows the following:
Well, in our case, if we multiply total vehicles counted = 100 by 15% we get 15 vehicles... So lets count 15 vehicles from the top and see which speed bracket we end up in:
I see: 1 + 3 + 1 + 4 + 7 and I'm already at 16... So by my count, the 85th percentile speed being adjacent to the 15th vehicle counted from the top falls in the 43 mph bracket.
They had it at 42mph... Big deal you might say!
Of course its a big deal, and her is why:
The method for calculating the speed limit goes as follows (See paragraph 4 on page 2B-7 of the 2010 CA-MUTCD):
So under the Standard:Standard:
When a speed limit is to be posted, it shall be established at the nearest 10 km/h (5 mph) increment of the 85th-percentile speed of free-flowing traffic, except as shown in the Option below.
The posted speed may be reduced by 10 km/h (5 mph) from the nearest 10 km/h (5 mph) increment of the 85th-percentile speed, in compliance with CVC Sections 627 and 22358.5.
Using their number of 42mph for the 85th percentile speed; the nearest 5mph increment = 40mph.
Using our number of 43mph for the 85th percentile speed; the nearest 5mph increment = 45mph
They utilized accident rates and other meaningless categories to further reduce the limit to 35mph. Deeming it the valid P.F. limit recommended to be posted.
I disagreed with their reasoning for the 5 mph reduction and calculated the actual C/MVM number to prove that collisions are insignificant, however if it were me I would still reduce the limit by 5mph due to the presence of 2 park, perdestrians, library, hospital, uncontrolled crosswalks... etc. Thereby resulting in a P.F. posted limit of 40mph
Therefore the 35mphj speed limit of 35mph on the northbound segment of San Vicente Blvd between BeverlY Blvd AND Santa Monica Blvd is NOT JUSTIFIED.
You have to realize that the city of West Hollywood was in the habit of generating a minimum of $8 million in revenue from Red light camera tickets. Ever since last July, and when Los Angeles Superior Court announced it will no longer pursue red light camera tickets, and although West Hollywood still has not taken down its red light cameras, that revenue is pretty much GONE!
Something has to replace it or else!
Here is my philosophy: the more surveys I see, the more convinced I am that there are very few, if any, speed limit that are legally justified. Still, every time I pass one, I can do one of two things: I can maker a serious attempt to comply, and be on my merry way each and every time, or I can challenge the system risk getting cited, and if/when I do, bust my behind fighting citations in court only to possibly end up losing and having to waste more time appealing!
God forbid you should be involved in an accident due to some other driver speeding; worse yet, God forbid you should ever find yourself standing there at the side of the road watching somebody take their last breath simply because some idiot was flying carelessly. Take it from somebody who has, its a sight you'll never forget. Now imagine being the one who caused it!!! And no, I am not acting holier than thou, far from it and I've had my idiot moments as well, and my fight continues!
It sounds easy here, but you have not tried it in court. you have not tasted the disappointment and the frustration that comes with losing and either having to bite the bullet or prepare for the big battle - the appeal!
So I don't care where the park, where they cite or who they pull over, each and every time I see one, and if s/he has lights on and is citing someone, the first and only words out of my mouth to that driver are: "Better you than me, Jack... Thanks for taking some of the slack", and I'm on my way!