Lower speed limits “can set expectations for traffic calming redesigns in the future.”


Last week, when Mayor Jeff Gahan finally emerged from the down low bunker to speak publicly about two-way streets for the first time in months, the News and Tribune’s Elizabeth Beilman recorded a typical potted Gahanism.

“What we don’t want is the volume to turn Spring Street into a raceway,” Gahan said.

I hate to be the one to break the news to a sheltered guy who spends most of his time underground reading his own press clippings, but dude — Spring Street’s been a raceway since about 1960.

Since it was made into a one-way street

For Gahan to suggest that speeding on New Albany’s one-way street grid won’t become a problem until tolls come into force constitutes a pole-vault beyond delusional, straight to profoundly sad.

Portland Wants to Rethink Speed Limits By Factoring in Walkers and Bikers, by Angie Schmitt (Streetsblog USA)

For cities trying to get a handle on traffic fatalities, dangerous motor vehicle speeds are an enormous problem. Once drivers exceed 20 mph, the chances that someone outside the vehicle will survive a collision plummet.

But even on city streets where many people walk and bike, streets with 35 or 40 mph traffic are common. Cities looking to reduce lethal vehicle speeds face a number of obstacles — including restrictions on how they can set speed limits …

 … Street design is a more important safety factor than speed limit signs, of course, but lower speed limits can still send a signal to motorists to proceed more cautiously — and they can set expectations for traffic calming redesigns in the future. If the speed limit is 30 mph but motorists consistently go faster, the design clearly needs to change.