With piles of data backing up the idea that slower is safer, Minneapolis and St. Paul are implementing lower speed limits. Both cities are setting lower speed limits using authority newly granted by the state legislature.
In Minneapolis, limits of 25 mph on arterial streets will take effect as the new signs are installed. Streets considered “residential” will have limits of 20 mph limits, but won’t get their own signage. The 20 mph limits will take effect once gateway signs for drivers entering the city are installed in the fall. County and state controlled streets will remain unchanged at 30 mph or greater.
Every year, Minneapolis sees an average of 11 people killed and 84 severely injured. An analysis by the city looked at traffic safety approaches in other cities. Among them Seattle, which saw a 21 percent reduction in total crashes on local streets after lowering the limit on those streets to 20 mph. Seattle also saw “a 13 percent reduction in total crashes and 20 percent reduction in fatal and serious injury crashes after downtown speed limits were lowered from 30 mph to 25 mph.”
Can they say “20 MPH is the law” instead of 20 is enough or what have you. We want drivers to know that there is a new law and that we’re not just a bunch of urban hippies. Thanks.— ryan kronzer (@ryankronzer) March 16, 2020
Steve Mosing, the city’s traffic operations engineer, says that 720 of the city’s 820 traffic signals will be impacted by the lower limits. “The signals right now are set up for a 30 mph progression speed.” The progression signal timing for each street will be changed soon after the new limit takes effect for that street. Public Works will also be installing about 1500 signs at the cost of around $100,000.
The city’s Vision Zero website has a map showing current and future speed limits for every street in the city. The map will be updated weekly to indicate when signage has been installed.