Slowing it down to 20 mph

A bill that passed the State House today would let cities and towns cut speed limits to 20 mph on non-arterial streets. It passed unanimously and now the so-called “Neighborhood Safe Speeds Bill” moves on to the Senate.

Bill proponents say it’s too much hassle now to reduce speed limits, so cities don’t do it. It entails an enginieering and traffic study, which requires staff time and money. The bill would let cities skip that step. It doesn’t mandate that any speed limits be lowered, but gives cities local control to do so if they choose.

Proponents say the bill would make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, especially children and old people. I can’t think of any places that around here that would benefit from dropping to 20 mph. Can cars even built to go that slow? Do speedometers work at that speed?



5 thoughts on “Slowing it down to 20 mph

  1. The purpose of roads used to be for facilitating the movement of people, the expansion of commerce, and job opportunities. In the last few years, so many have been “dumbed down” to no longer serve their purpose. Now it just takes one or two people to complain and politicians fall all over themselves to prove they are for safety.

    “Proponents say the bill would make it safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, especially children and old people.”

    I rest my case about the new purpose of roads. Pedestrians are practically a thing of the past and have sidewalks. Bikes were many, many times more prevalent in the past when 25+ was deemed safe and brakes were much inferior. It boils down to appeasing “old people” perceiving those cars ‘speeding’ at 25 mph from their porch swings, and the need to make the streets safer for today’s kids who don’t respect traffic.

    Many parents think the road in front of their house is their private turn-around, the place for their kids to play ball or to place their skateboard ramps. They don’t bother to instruct their kids not to cross the street anywhere they want or explain how headphones block the sound of horns. And, if their kids are walking along or in the road at night, it is the cars that must go slow to notice their kids wearing dark colors and not facing the traffic.

    We have vehicles with better brakes, suspension, steering, visibility and we spend millions on road improvement; and then the politicians let it all go to waste. There should be class action lawsuits against them for needless loss of time, fuel, and wasted tax dollars. They need to be held accountable at election time.

  2. The idea that children shouldn’t feel safe biking in front of their own house is sad.

    I think Tom makes the case for this legislation about as well as anyone. We need it because people who share his viewpoint think every road is an arterial built for their convenience.

  3. I’d love to see my street be a 20mph zone, not athat anyone would pay attention. It’s a dead end, yet people feel compelled to seee if they caan get up to fifty by the time they get to the end of it. It’s not designed to “support commerce.” It’s designed to provide ingress and egress to single family homes. The only “commerce” it sees is the UPS truck. Slow down!

  4. My street is 20 mph, it’s a playground zone. Nobody does 20 except me. It’s hard to only do 20, I cannot shift out of first gear. Nobody patrols our street and most people drive 30 to 40 mph. Changing the limit in neighborhoods would only change the driving habits of folks who already drive cautiously.

    Can we maybe focus on creating some jobs and stop with the silly laws?

  5. Marvin,
    With all due respect, if your street is a dead end and there is no commerce on it and serves only for ingress and egress to single family homes; it stands to reason that it is your neighbors who are using it for a drag strip. What satisfaction will you get from a law you admit is pointless? Don’t you think that enforcing the present law would be umpteen times better?

    Why have children for generations felt safe with traffic only going 25 and now your kids don’t? Is it just their perception of safety or maybe they have habits that past cyclists didn’t have? What if they are still afraid when the limit is reduced to 20; should it be lowered to 15? I care about safety, not ‘perceived’ safety and limits that merit enough respect for normal law abiding citizens to follow.

    I honestly don’t think or believe that every ‘road is an arterial’ built for my convenience. What I believe is that too many think ‘an arterial that passes their house should be a road’ for their convenience, rather than the publics.

    I think we all here are working for the same goal, but differ in what would be effective to accomplish it.

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