From the Archives: Are you ‘?Speeding?’

April 11, 1972: New speeding sign in Laurel Canyon on Laurel Canyon Blvd. north of Mulholland Drive.
April 11, 1972: New speeding sign in Laurel Canyon on Laurel Canyon Boulevard north of Mulholland Drive.
(Boris Yaro / Los Angeles Times)

Residents along Laurel Canyon Boulevard tried various tricks to slow speeding drivers. The Feb. 10, 1972, Los Angeles Times reported, “The traffic department tore down warning signs put up by residents, “ and “took out cement bumps put in the roadway to slow down cars ...”

A new radar system was then attempted. Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs explained in an April 20, 1972, letter to the editor:

... this sign is part of an innovative, new speed control system–the Radar Speed Meter–which I unveiled to the public with City Traffic Engineer S. S. Taylor last week. The speed meter is that proverbial 2 x 4 you hit someone with to get their attention. Initially, the driver is warned by signs denoting the area is radar checked, followed by signs which say “?SPEEDING?” Such as that shown in your photograph. Thereafter, a lighted 4’ x 4’ radar-operated sign showing the face of a speedometer and a movable pointer indicated the exact miles per hour of the approaching vehicle.

This new speed control system is a direct result of the people’s demand for innovative traffic control devices which will insure safer streets for traffic and pedestrians alike.

See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here