Beginning Monday, October 25, the City of Madison will move to the last location this year of speed changes to support the Vision Zero initiative. This final reduction for 2021 will occur on two sections of Cottage Grove Road.

This next adjustment of speed limit reductions comes to a busy commercial area that also includes a library, YMCA, several bus stops and an intersection where the popular Capital City Bike Path crosses through. A reduction to this 1.3 mile section of Cottage Grove road will increase the travel time by less than 22 seconds. Slower speeds provide greater safety by shortening stopping distances and lessening the severity of impacts. Since 2015, on this segment of Cottage Grove Road, two people were killed and two people suffered serious injuries in traffic crashes.

The posted speed limit on the following sections of Cottage Grove Rd will see adjustments:

  • Drexel to Highway 51 will change from 30 mph to 25 mph
  • Highway 51 to Flora will change from 35 mph to 30 mph

Temporary digital signboards are present in the areas to remind drivers of the speed limit changes.

Vision Zero initiative focuses on the belief that death and injury on city streets is preventable. This approach to safety emphasizes speed reductions and smarter street designs that take human error into account. In Madison, 15 people were killed this year while walking, biking or driving.

“One of the first steps that the Vision Zero team took was developing a High Injury Network, roadways where changes are most necessary according to statistical analysis of crash data. It was alarming to notice that two-thirds of all fatalities, and three-quarters of all severe injuries occurred on only 10% of our streets. This data has informed each step the team has taken since,” said Yang Tao, City Traffic Engineer.

Reducing speeds to save lives and eliminating life-altering injuries is a cornerstone of Vision Zero. This is evident in speed reductions on major roadways, like those that occurred on East Washington Avenue, and programs like 20 is Plenty, launched earlier this year, that uses statistics provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that suggest lowering the speed limit by 5 mph on city streets can improve safety for all roadway users.

Vision Zero believes that speed changes, infrastructure updates and coordinated public engagement efforts with City agencies and local stakeholders, will become the new way forward to eliminating preventable fatalities on our city streets.
For more information about the Vision Zero program, to participate in community outreach surveys or to join the Vision Zero email list, please visit the Vision Zero website.

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