Here’s Jeff Speck, explaining how slower downtown speeds have only a minimal impact on typical commute times — and there’s Team Gahan, ignoring him.


Jeff Speck was on Twitter. Here’s what he had to say about commuting times in the context of lower speed limits. 

Here’s Jeff Speck to explain how speed kills — and there’s Team Gahan, ignoring him.

Concerns about lengthened commute times should not be dismissed out of hand. There are many people who commute in and out of downtown each day who have no other use for downtown—at least, not in its current state. (1/6)

They brown-bag their lunches and don’t linger after work for cocktails. Most are constrained in both money and time. (2/6)

Some of these people will never have interest in a safer, more vital downtown. Even if it becomes remarkably more appealing, with new public spaces and activities springing up, they will not make use of it. But these people are the exception. (3/6)

Almost everybody, at the very least, wants a downtown they can be proud of. And most suburbanites, when a downtown becomes a destination, will want to visit it on occasion. (4/6)

Moreover, these people’s desires need to be weighed against the desires of all downtown stakeholders. In most places, the majority of downtown workers care a lot about its safety and quality. All downtown residents certainly care. (5/6)

The same goes for merchants, property owners & other investors. It is in this context that the tradeoffs between commute time & safety need to be made clear, & the key question asked: would you rather have a downtown that is quick to drive through, or one worth arriving at? (6/6)

And this.

Citizens and city leaders should be presented with an honest choice. Where commutes will take a bit longer, we should to say so. But, given the whole story, most people have shown themselves willing to spare a minute or two for the good of their city and fellow citizens. (1/3)

This graphic by the transportation planning firm NelsonNygaard shows how slower downtown speeds have only a minimal impact on typical commute times. (2/3)

RULE 32: Discuss tradeoffs between speed and safety honestly, with an eye to downtown vitality, civic pride, and lives saved. (3/3) From #WalkableCityRules