Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on July 5th, 2007 at 4:50 pm
I just got an email from someone who claims that PDOT is “investigating the possibility of lowering the speed limits of neighborhood streets.”
The message pointed me to the Safety page of the PDOT website where there is currently a “Pulse Poll” that asks, “What do you think the speed limit should be on neighborhood streets?”
The graphic at right shows the current results as of about 3:00 today.
I’m not sure if this is the start of a full-fledged campaign to change the law, or if this is just Commissioner Adams testing the public opinion waters with an informal poll.
Statewide, a law (H.B. 2297) was recently passed that establishes a 15 mph speed limit on “residential roads” (defined as, not more than 18 feet wide at any point between two intersections or between an intersection and the end of the roadway).
Unsafe neighborhood traffic speeds are an issue for many Portlanders, as evidenced by results from the Auditor’s annual Citizen Survey.
Lower neighborhood speeds might also mean less damage to the streets, and we all know how much Adams wants to lower the maintenance backlog and save money on repairs.
UPDATE: I heard back about this from a high-level staffer in the traffic safety division of PDOT. He said that while PDOT is always working to reduce traffic speeds in dangerous areas, there are no specific plans (legislative or otherwise) to seek lower speed limits at this time.