Nashville is proposing changing the default speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph on local streets in the Urban Services District.
Nashville is proposing changing the default speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph on local streets in the Urban Services District in order to slow drivers travelling at dangerous speeds through Nashville’s residential neighborhoods.
An ordinance in support of this change will be discussed at the Tues., January 19th meeting of Metro Council at 6:30pm. Please plan to email your Council Member and express your support.
Check out this map to see which streets are changing.
To read about how this change came about, check out our blog post from last year, here.
Why change the speed limit?
Speed determines how severe a crash will be. Just a few miles per hour difference can have a huge impact. How fast you choose to drive can be the difference between life and death.
Even small increases in vehicle speed can have fatal results. If a person walking is struck by a vehicle at 25mph they have a 25% risk of serious or fatal injury: but that risk jumps to 50 percent at 33 mph and 75 percent at 41 mph, according to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Pedestrian deaths are on the rise in Nashville. Keeping motorists traveling at safe speeds is an important early step in meeting the goals of Vision Zero and eliminating deaths and severe injuries in traffic crashes. Mayor Cooper declared a Vision Zero goal for Nashville in January of last year. More about what Vision Zero means for Nashville can be found on our blog here.
Lowering the speed limit works.
Many cities across the country have already lowered the speed limit to 25 mph. Cities including Boston, Seattle, New York, Portland and Minneapolis have lowered speed limits in recent years and seen gains in safety.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) studied the impact in Boston and found that drivers exceeding 35 mph decreased by almost 30 percent.
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
Metro Public Works currently has over 180 neighborhoods in the queue for the Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program. Lowering the speed limit on local streets in the Urban Services District will lower the speed limit on the vast majority of streets in neighborhoods that have applied.
We know more investment will still be needed in the form of infrastructure and lowering the speed limit will not be enough, but lowering the speed limit is a good first step to changing the culture of speeding on our streets.
Help support this change.
Please plan to email your Council Member ahead of the Metro Council meeting on Tues., Jan. 19th at 6:30 pm and express your support.
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