Slower Speeds Save Lives and 20 is Plenty
Posted on Wednesday, May. 5, 2021 at 9:00 am
As part of the City’s Vision Zero initiative our Traffic Engineering Division is proposing a new program called 20 is Plenty. This program will reduce the speed limit of the city’s residential streets from 25 mph to 20 mph. Research shows that speed plays a critical role of the outcome of a crash when it occurs. According to a study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, if a vehicle moving at 20 mph speed strikes a pedestrian, there is a 13% likelihood of fatality or severe injury, compared to 40% at 30 mph, and 73% at 40 mph. Clearly lowering the speed limit can save lives. This is a key component of the City’s Vision Zero Initiative.
Citywide implementation of 20 is Plenty requires a lot of preparation work, including budgeting, logistics, public engagement and Common Council action. The City is planning to start the citywide implementation in 2022.
To benefit from the program sooner, and to get some experience before the citywide rollout, Traffic Engineering Division is proposing to implement the change in a couple of neighborhoods this year as the first phase of the program.
The Transportation Policy and Planning Board as well as the Board of Public Works overwhelmingly support this program. Transportation Commission members will work to narrow down the first two neighborhoods at a meeting this month.
These decisions and others involving Vision Zero incorporate an equity lens as we work to improve safety throughout the City. Vision Zero is an ongoing initiative and will include changes such as crosswalk markings, targeting high injury networks and utilizing engineering changes to keep us all safer. As we all work together these changes will improve the safety for everyone - motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
Please join us in our commitment to Vision Zero by obeying the speed limit, and driving, biking and walking safely around Madison. Together, we can save lives.