A new study recommends lowering speeds on the 110 near Pasadena to 45MPH

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How fast do you drive on the 110 north of downtown L.A.? Some drivers get a rush from banking those S-curves extra fast, while others take every turn with caution -- and a new study from Caltrans says they might have the right idea.

The $650,000 study from Caltrans and the Southern California Association of Governments recommends dropping to a 45-mph speed limit on the curvy 8-mile stretch of road.

The winding stretch from Pasadena to the I-5 lost its freeway status a couple of years ago when it was re-dubbed Arroyo Seco Parkway. That “Parkway” designation means Caltrans can now consider dropping the legal speed below freeway limits.

When the 110 opened 72 years ago, it was celebrated as an engineering wonder and the first freeway in the West. Back then, cars were a lot slower and engineers hadn’t figured out a safe way to design on-ramps. So that is why the on- and off-ramps are so short by today’s standards -- and why merging into traffic can feel so treacherous.

Caltrans created this short video featuring cross-fades that compare parts of the parkway when opened in 1940 to those same locations today.

The new report and its recommendations are designed to return the parkway that is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (and is designated a National Scenic Byway) back to its picturesque past.

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