State law, City Council vote means lower speed limits on some streets
Palm Springs will be the first city in the state to take advantage of a new law allowing greater flexibility over speed limits. The result? Dozens of city streets will have lower speed limits starting in 2022.
The move was made possible by a state bill — AB43 — that goes into place on January 1. Municipalities were previously only allowed to set speed limits within the 85th percentile of “spot speed” surveys conducted by traffic engineers. The surveys are conducted using radar to measure typical vehicle speeds. Under AB43, cities are now allowed to consider many other factors, including pedestrian and bicycle use of streets.
After a traffic engineering firm completed its survey of city streets earlier this year — the first since 2013 — it was determined that the speed limits on 179 of 215 street segments could remain the same. On the remainder, the speed limits are now allowed to come down, typically by 5 mph. The Palm Springs City Council unanimously approved those lower limits earlier this month.
For Mayor Lisa Middleton, the flexibility allowed for under the new state law was a bit of a personal mission. She was one of more than two dozen members of the state’s Zero Fatalities Task Force that helped draft language used in AB43.
“This is something near and dear to our hearts,” she said during the Dec. 9 City Council meeting. “Speed limits are going to finally be coming down.”
While not the most pressing issue in the city, Councilmember Dennis Woods said, “We do get a lot of complaints about speeding.” He proposed city leaders and staff carve out time to look at long-term solutions that would lead to safer streets that are useful to more than just cars and trucks.
“We really need to invest in our streets and the geometrics of our streets,” Woods said. “We have just not made that a priority. We need to look at funding more geometric changes to beautify our streets and to make them more for multimodal use.”
More information: The complete staff report, including the engineering firm’s 2021 traffic study, is available here.
IN-PERSON EVENT CANCELED: The Palm Springs International Film Awards in-person event has been cancelled this year due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, organizers announced Monday. The award ceremony, initially scheduled for Jan. 6, was to kick off the Palm Springs International Film Festival, which is still scheduled to run in person from Jan. 7 until Jan. 17. The screening portion of the festival will require proof of vaccination and the wearing of a mask, according to organizers. In place of the in-person award ceremony, the festival is partnering with Entertainment Tonight to celebrate this year’s honorees. No details on the alternative celebration were immediately available. According to organizers, all those who purchased tickets for the in-person ceremony will be reimbursed.
NOMINEES FINALIZED: The recipients of the Palm Springs Human Rights Commission’s annual Community Service Awards were approved unanimously Monday evening, but will not be named publicly just yet. The Commission approved awarding eight community members this year. Commission Chair Ron deHarte noted that all the award recipients share a common thread. “Each served our community in some form or another on a COVID platform,” deHarte said, whether they worked on promoting vaccinations, feeding the unhoused who were affected by the pandemic, or through promoting volunteerism needed during the fight against the disease. Nominees will next be contacted to determine whether they are willing to accept the award. A public ceremony is planned for the Commission’s Feb. 14 meeting.
MODERNISM GOLF: For the first time, Modernism Week will offer a fun-spirited, 18-hole golf tournament during the upcoming February 2022 festival in Palm Springs. Participants in the new golf tournament will swing through the private, members-only executive course at Seven Lakes Golf and Country Club on Sunday, Feb. 27, from 1 PM until 4 PM as they admire architecturally interesting homes designed by Richard Harrison set against the stunning backdrop of Mt. San Jacinto. Information about the tournament or a post-play party is available here.
MIZELL CENTER: The Mizell Center, 480 S. Sunrise Way, offers Spanish, a laughter clinic, a master gardeners program, and more, starting at 8:30 AM. A complete list of everything offered can be found online here.
ART UNVEILED: The installation of “TOT,” a new piece of city artwork featured in The Post here, will take place at 10 AM in front of the Palm Springs Swim Center, 405 South Pavilion Way.
SUNSHINE SISTERS: Palm Springs Sunshine Sisters will visit Wildlights at The Living Desert at 5:30 PM. You can sign up to be part of the group — formed to help women make new connections and friendships — on Meetup here.
MIRACLE ON THE TARMAC: The Palm Springs Air Museum hosts an event with Santa from 5:30 PM until 8:30 PM. The event is a drive-thru on the tarmac with a Christmas light spectacular for children young and old to enjoy. A goody bag filled with holiday treats for each car is distributed. Tickets are $25 per car and are available at this site.
SUSTAINABILITY: The city’s Sustainability Commission meets at 5:3- PM via Zoom. Instructions for participating in the meeting or viewing it are available here.
INTERFAITH EVENT: Several city congregations are collaborating to present “Blue Christmas: Longest Night Service” at 6 PM at The Church of St. Paul in the Desert, 125 West El Alameda. The service is designed as a contemplative service for those carrying grief and trying to manage the holiday season with so much loss and pain.
TOASTMASTERS: Toastmasters, a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of promoting communication, public speaking and leadership, meets virtually every Tuesday in Palm Springs starting at 6 PM. Interested in participating? Send an email to [email protected] for more information and the Zoom link.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
CHRISTMAS WITH THE CRAWFORDS: Desert Rose Playhouse in Palm Springs presents “Christmas With the Crawfords” at 7 PM Thursdays, 8 PM Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 PM Sundays through Sunday, December 26 (no shows on Dec. 25), The playhouse is located at 611 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 16. Tickets are $34-$37; high-top tables (for four) or VIP couches (for two or three) are $175. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for entry. For tickets or more information, visit desertroseplayhouse.org.
FREE CHRISTMAS BREAKFAST: On Christmas morning, from 8 AM until 11 AM, Oscar’s is serving a complimentary breakfast to anyone in need. It’s the venue’s sixth straight year offering breakfast to anyone in need of good food, good cheer, or just good company. Oscar’s owner Dan Gore asks that the public help spread the word to members of the unhoused community. “Please let anyone in need know we are open and ready to serve them a warm breakfast,” Gore wrote in a Facebook post. “I appreciate you telling people who are panhandling, we are here for them on Christmas Day.”
WHITE CHRISTMAS: The all-time holiday classic, “White Christmas,” is playing at the Palm Springs Cultural Center, 2300 East Baristo Road, for a special one-time screening on December 25 at 7 PM. Experience this beloved holiday musical extravaganza on the biggest screen in the Coachella Valley! Proof of vaccination is required.
AUNTIE MAME: Join Among Friends at the Palm Springs Cultural Center for the grand return of an annual Palm Springs holiday tradition — “Auntie Mame!” Dress up like characters from the film or don your most fabulous holiday attire for a roaring 1920’s cocktail party starting at 6 PM and hosted in front of the theater by our very own Mame, Miss Bea Haven. Then see the classic movie you love come alive as a special interactive version featuring audience participation, live action, and surprises. Proof of vaccination is required.
10K YOUR WAY: Angel View’s biggest fundraiser of the year — the 10K Your Way event — begins December 31. The public is encouraged to register to swim, run, walk, bike, or roll 10 kilometers and collect donations to support their efforts. Funds raised will support the organization, a nonprofit founded in 1954 that is dedicated to helping children and adults with disabilities. Last year, despite the pandemic, more participants joined in than ever and fundraising surpassed $80,000. Anyone interested in raising money through swimming is invited to the Palm Springs Swim Center, 405 South Pavilion Way, during its open hours on December 31. To register, send email to [email protected] or call 760-835-0464.