The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

PDOT pushing for lower speed limits?

Posted by on July 5th, 2007 at 4:50 pm

[Updated: 8:25pm]

Poll on PDOT website

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.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • peejay July 5, 2007 at 5:04 pm

    Let\’s freep the poll – get 15mph up to about 95%!

    I\’m partly kidding, partly not.

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  • peejay July 5, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    Of course, then there\’ll be all these stings where the cops give bikers speeding tickets!

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  • SKIDmark July 5, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    25 mph is fine if you are paying attention to the road and not chatting on your cell phone. The current speed limits were (likely) set in the 40\’s when many cars still had mechanical (non-hydraulic) brakes. These days cars have disc brakes and ABS so they should be able to stop at least as well as they did in the 40\’s. I honestly think all that lowering speed limits would do is make more people speed more when there are no Police in sight, a much more dangerous situation than exists. Car drivers do not need to drive slower, they just need to pay more attention to the road and other road users. That is what the focus should be on, making people drive better (cyclists too).

    The only advantage to lowering the speed limit to 20 mph is that practically any bicycle could take the lane with impunity, as long as you could maintain 20 mph. Okay, maybe not such a bad idea.

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  • Matthew July 5, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    If the made the speed limit 15 mph on residential streets, that means they\’d only actually enforce it if you were going 25 mph or faster… Why can\’t they just enforce that anyways?

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  • rixtir July 5, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    Of course, then there\’ll be all these stings where the cops give bikers speeding tickets!

    Unfortunately, I think peejay is right. Given that the City seems to be at least toying with the idea of using parallel residential streets as bike boulevards, it wouldn\’t make much sense to install a speed limit of 15 MPH on a bike boulevard, and then ticket cyclists for exceeding that.

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  • Anonymous July 5, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    I\’d love to see 20mph, but think the greatest improvement would be made by simple ACTUAL enforcement of the already existing limit. And that means getting people for anything over 25 or whatever the limit is, not waiting til they hit 40. It\’s the limit and most people treat it like a minimum.

    I know that getting cops into my neighborhood to deal with speeders and egregious stop sign runners has been an exercise in futility so I don\’t hold out much hope that a lower limit will do a darn thing.

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  • amy July 5, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    I agree that drivers do need to pay more attention when they are driving – that is a serious issue, yet a different issue all together. Lowering the speed limit on side streets will likely NOT result in cyclists receiving speeding tickets but will increase the safety of those who share the road and the sidewalks. It is an important change that will also affect those of us who are walking, crossing streets, and our children who are playing outdoors.

    An accident that occurs when a driver is going 15 MPH has a less than 5% fatality rate. A driver going 30-35 MPH will increase the risk of a fatality to 45% if they cause an accident. Going slower also forces drivers to share the road and be more aware of those around them.

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  • AllOver July 5, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    Ya, I see no reason to lower the speed limit. Portland (Oregon for that matter) already has low enough speed limits as it is. 25mph is just fine for residential. Like #3 said, the problem is with people just not paying attention to what they are doing.

    In what other situation would people find themselves not putting 100% focus into something that involves large several ton steel boxes moving anywhere from 25mph to 70mph literally feet away from each other.

    That\’s why people get put in comas like I personally saw 2 months ago or die like I saw 2 people do 7 months ago….Pay attention when you are driving folks, it is a life or death matter.

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  • Martha S. July 5, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Current policy is that you can only be ticketed if you\’re exceeding the speed limit by 10 mph, yes? Well, I think 25 is plenty fast (even downhill) on a residential street, and yes, even for cyclists. If you can\’t stick to that sort of a speed range then there are other streets available to you; we aren\’t restricted to the boulevards.

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  • a.O July 5, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    I think that inattention is a major problem, but so is speed. Of course, the two are relate: The faster you\’re going, the less time you have to react.

    I support lowering the limit on PDX residential streets to 15. My reasons are two-fold:

    First, there is no good reason to go any faster than 15 on a residential street, as they\’re defined in HB 2297. The time saved in going 5-10mph faster is utterly minimal and the advantage gained in responding to the typical hazards one encounters (e.g., wandering children) is significant.

    Second, we all agree that there is no enforcement of the *actual* limit. Enforcement is of the limit +10mph. So, if we make it 15, we can expect the PPB to actually enforce 25, which, as I said above, is more than fast enough.

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  • Bill Stites July 5, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    I support lowering the speed limit as low as we can get it.
    We\’re not talking about arterials here, but neighborhood streets where there are many other things besides driving and parking cars that citizens could be doing in the streets …

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  • Mr. Viddy July 5, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    Well, people exceed the speed limit anyways so may as well lower it to 15 that way the fines will bring in more money.

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  • SKiDmark July 5, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    It already takes 45 minutes to get across Portland in a car as it is without lowering speed limits. Do you think it is a good idea to frustrate drivers more by lowering speed limits? DOn\’t you think that will increase road rage and moving violations as people try to make time on less patrolled back streets? Let\’s think this through. If existing speed limits aren\’t being obeyed what makes you think lower speed limits would be obeyed?

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  • N.I.K. July 5, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    I\’d love to see 20mph, but think the greatest improvement would be made by simple ACTUAL enforcement of the already existing limit.

    Seconded. If there were actual enforcement of the existing speed limits instead of this unofficial 10-15mph buffer that every motorist relies on, there\’d be no need for across-the-board lowering of speed limits. Remember, when there\’s a 25mph limit, most people are still doing 30-35mph. Get \’em doing 25mph or less like they\’re supposed to and the problem takes care of itself.

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  • Cecil July 5, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    MArtha S. asked: \”Current policy is that you can only be ticketed if you\’re exceeding the speed limit by 10 mph, yes?\”

    Well, no. You CAN be ticketed if you exceed the speed limit by any measure. The question is whether you WILL be ticketed. Conventional wisdom is \”With nine, you\’re fine,\” and I can guarantee that an enforcement action against drivers going less than 10mph over the speed limit would be about as popular with motorists as, well, let\’s just say other vehicle law enforcement actions that have occurred as of late . . .

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  • Mr. Viddy July 5, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Yes, actual enforcement of traffic laws is the only thing that will solve the problem. But as the police always say, they can\’t spend their time on such minor issues.

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  • peejay July 5, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    With proper road design, speed limits are unnecessary, of course. Active traffic calming is far better than a plea for cars not to go fast on streets designed to encourage them to speed. This is what you get on straight wide streets with no interruption. A traffic calmed street does not require speed limits, because it puts cars in situations where they\’re always having to maneuver around or over things. Sure, you\’ll get the occasional hot-rod, but that guy will be ignoring any posted limit anyway. So, that said, we should design our residential streets – especially bike boulevards – for 15-20mph, and save on the signs.

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  • amy July 5, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    For SKIDmark – too bad if it takes 45 minutes to get across Portland in the car (take the bus – or ride your bike!) Speeding through neighborhoods just to get somewhere in a hurry – and putting lives at risk in the meantime – is not a safe solution for anyone. We are not talking about main roads here, just side streets through neighborhoods. The kind of people that have road rage because they can\’t get somewhere fast enough, or can\’t speed down side streets need to stay off the roads in the first place. These are the deadliest kinds of drivers – raged, in a hurry, and indifferent to others on the road or sidewalks (where young children can easily step into the street in a second).

    Peejay – great point and I totally agree, however, the cost of reconstructing streets and putting in traffic calming speed bumps, etc. is far greater than changing signs. Pavement is expensive (as Sam Adams noted at his town hall meeting), and emergency vehicles are slowed by these when moments count. 15 MPH on side streets is not unreasonable, and Portland, being so pedestrian and bike-friendly, should be a pioneer in this change.

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  • VR July 5, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    If people break the 25mph speed limit, won\’t they break a 15mph speed limit?

    All this would do is raise the ticket revenue, which is probably why it would be considered in the first place…

    Heck, the speed limit is 20mph in school zones and I know of SEVERAL school zones that are NEVER enforced.

    Just like immigration reform – if we simply enforced the laws we ALREADY HAVE – then there is not a problem. Adding more laws does not help – it simply makes more laws that don\’t get enforced.

    I am with the camp that says we should design streets to foster slower driving. Artificial \”limits\” do not work.

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  • pdxcommuter July 6, 2007 at 12:14 am

    peejay #2 is right. The same police officers who write tickets for no front brakes on fixies and rolling the stop signs in the construction zone on Caruthers will write tickets for doing 20 mph in a 15 mph zone. So, no thank you. The current speed limits are fine.

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  • Jeff July 6, 2007 at 12:25 am

    It\’s frustrating to hear people support lower speed limits and then people worry that they would get a speeding ticket on their bike. Bicycle or automobile, the speed limit is the limit, a stop sign is a stop sign. Driving or riding, lead by example.

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  • Dan (teknotus) July 6, 2007 at 1:31 am

    I remember a situation in Beaverton where almost everyone exceeded the speed limit I suppose because they thought it was rediculously slow. At some point they raised the speed limit, and the traffic actually slowed down. I\’m not sure that lowering the speed limits drastically will have the desired effect. I think lowering the limit on bike boulevards to 20 is resonable, as at that speed I don\’t think cars should ever have a reason to pass me on a straight, or downhill. On roads where there isn\’t really room for parked cars, and two lanes of traffic at the same time I think 15 is about right. Including SE 60th between Hawthorn, and Division as major a road as that is.

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  • Michael July 6, 2007 at 7:05 am

    \”the greatest improvement would be made by simple ACTUAL enforcement of the already existing limit\”

    Are you crazy??? If they do that, then the next thing would be requiring stops and red lights and stop signs! Who needs that!?

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  • Mommy July 6, 2007 at 8:40 am

    25 mph is plenty slow if people actually drive that. The problem is that most people automatically add 10 to whatever number they see.

    I can see 15 being the speed limit on the narrower streets where there is only room for one car to pass. But a normal, 2 lane road, 15 is a little ridiculous in my opinion.

    And Skidmark, it should NOT take you 45 minutes to get across Portland unless you are travelling at the height of rush hour and there was an accident on the freeway. I think you need to find a better route.

    You know, here\’s an off-topic thought I just had that might be crazy and I haven\’t thought it through, but if there were MORE thoroughfares and freeways, wouldn\’t there be less congestion in the neighborhoods, hence safer for bikes? I have always been very anti more freeways and pro more bike paths and max rails. Yet, the other day I realized that the existing streets would make excellent bike paths if there were fewer cars. So we could make everyone happy if we gave cars a better option AND I think more people would ride bikes if it felt safer on the streets. Hmmm… is this crazy?

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  • Tbird July 6, 2007 at 9:04 am

    \”Car drivers do not need to drive slower, they just need to pay more attention to the road and other road users.\”

    This is completely false. I live on a residential street that is adjacent to Division. The speed limit is of course 25mph. Rarely do I see anyone driving under the speed limit, even folks who live on our street come roaring in there at around 40mph. It would be nice if drivers would BOTH slow down and be more attentive, but asking nicely won\’t make that happen. I\’m all for speed enforcement and lower speed limits, in additon to targeting distracted drivers.

    As far as speeding tickets for cyclists, I\’m all for that as well. Too many of us ride like were living some Time Trial fantasy. Slow Down, what\’s the hurry?

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  • SKiDmark July 6, 2007 at 10:01 am

    Amy, when I moved to Portland I parked my motorcycle for that very reason, it was faster to get around by bicycle and MAX and certainly more enjoyable. But I am not everybody, and everybody does not want to ride a bike everywhere, and it may not be practical for them anyways. Maybe there is only a half-hour between when they get off work and the time day-care closes (for instance) and you aren\’t going to get there @ 15 mph. Also driving slower means cars are on the road longer, increasing traffic and congestion, and pollution.

    The focus should be on getting drivers to pay more attention to their driving and to take driving more seriously. The raods could be made safer by outlawing cell phone use while driving, like many cities and states have done, and by increasing penalties for causing fatal accidents, like the vehicular homicide bill, and the vulnerable road users bill does.

    If you can\’t control a car travelling at 25 mph then you have no business having a driver\’s license.

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  • SKiDmark July 6, 2007 at 10:12 am

    By your own admission, T-bird, they are travelling at 15 mph over the speed limit. Obviously, what I meant was that travelling at the existing posted speed limit is slow enough.

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  • Dropped July 6, 2007 at 11:11 am

    I live right near the NE PDX precinct and the biggest speeders in our neighborhood are the cops. They come flying out of there all the time. And they are not all going to emergencies; they just seem to feel that it\’s ok to drive 55 on a residential street.

    I\’d like to see speed bumps on every side street. That\’s about the only effective solution.

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  • tonyt July 6, 2007 at 11:11 am


    It\’s not about \”controlling a car.\” If that was the case, then the limit on a straight road like MLK would/should be 60mph.

    What it\’s about is providing a buffer to deal with the unforeseeable and to allow for more predictable shared use. I myself like to allow for the random child running out between parked cars. To do that safely, I find myself going 20mph and less, depending on how many parked cars there are and how well I can see.

    Using \”controlling a car\” as your guage to determine the appropriate limit is the thinking of many self-absorbed drivers who think the road is their personal speedway, and that any real speed limit is an affront to their inner NASCAR driver.

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  • Oxa Koba July 6, 2007 at 11:36 am

    This conversation is great, but maybe it should start from a different assumption.

    Speed can be dangerous, especially with distracted drivers/riders. But the burden, literally, is on cars because speed makes their weight all the more a safety concern.

    At a certain point however, drivers pretty much do not go slower. They pull into a residential area, proceed at a liberal speed until they arrive at the part of the neighborhood where they start to know people. Its human nature.

    [Driver pulls into residential area going 35mph].\”I should call and see what\’s for dinner.\”[Fiddling with new iPhone while drifting across the road.]\”Oh, but go slow because little Tommy next door plays in the street sometimes.\”[Slows to speed limit]

    So maybe the solution is not speed reduction, but car reduction. Perhaps, the frequency of automobile accessible streets needs to be reduced.

    For example, if you look at Ladd\’s Circle in SE. Cars could be given access to the parallel East-West streets Hawthorne & Division, and the North-South streets 12th & 20th. The remaining roads would be open to other vehicles like, low power electric carts, bicycles, etc.; but with the speed limit in tact. At that point, if the remaining non-automobile traffic needs to be slowed down, it could be done.

    So I know this is insanity. Where would resident\’s park their cars, for goodness sake! How do they get to their garages. Do they have to park on Division and walk home? What about cargo? That is crazy talk.

    The thing is, we have this assumption that cars MUST have access to all residential streets. But in a city that is promoting cycling and mass transit, in an area like SE that has solid bus service, why can\’t car-free neighborhoods emerge.

    I wish there was a movement of cyclists in the city to work with the city to create a car-free neighborhood 10×10 blocks. Imagine a neighborhood designed around pedestrians and cyclists, not cars. It would not be hard to retrofit an existing 10×10 blocks in this way. I think the city is ready for a challenge like this and has citizen-cyclists that would be willing to try such an experiment.

    My point is, lower speeds are not always the answer. Our assumptions about automobile access to residential areas need to be addressed and revised.

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  • Jim Mayer July 6, 2007 at 11:44 am

    The legislation establishing the 15 mph speed limit is for two-way streets less than 18 feet wide,which is quite narrow. There are some streets like that in Portland, but itis not a typical residential street. I think the narrowest allowable standard is 20 feet for a two-way street with no parking on either side.

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  • Oxa Koba July 6, 2007 at 11:52 am

    PS: I did not pick SE for any special reason other than everyone likely knows where Ladd Circle is on a map.

    I am sure their are plenty, plenty, of other parts of town that would be just as good. Pretty much ever 10×10 block chunk in town could work if enough effort was invested to give the residents non-car options (ease bus and max access, etc.).

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  • SKiDmark July 6, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    I think part of controlling a car is being aware of your surroundings and driving at an appropriate speed. You know scan ahead, look for children playing in neighborhood, cyclists in the roadway, cars backing out of driveways, all the stuff that apparently goes in one ear and out the other in driver\’s ed.

    MLK is an awfully busy street with lots of stop-sign only intersections and buses stopping every few blocks. I don\’t think it could be safely negotiated at 60 mph.

    I am sorry to go against the grain and suggest that if people in cars paid attention to the road and travelled at the existing speed limits that things would be better than they are, and that lowering speed limits could actually make things worse. I have never been anywhere, where people drive slower than in Portland, except for a few retiremnet communities. The problem is the Zombie-like state that people drive around in, and the distracted state that other people drive around in.

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  • tonyt July 6, 2007 at 12:27 pm

    Certainly if people paid more attention and drove the limit, life would be better. Nothing to really disagree with there.

    I think that my vote would be for more and stricter enforcement of existing limits. Echoing #6, the problem is that most drivers, and cops, view the posted limit as the starting point and treat 10-15 over as the limit.

    I like that graphic that Jonathan posted with an earlier story that showed speed and associated stopping distance.

    We need cops to #1, slow down themselves (and yield to peds while they\’re at it). Nothing leads like example.

    And #2 start randomly enforcing limits in neighborhoods. And no 10 mile buffer before a ticket.

    Don\’t want to get a ticket for doing 26 in a 25? Then slow down. You don\’t have to do the limit.

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  • Todd B July 6, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    The other unstated benefits (as far as I can see from a quick scan) of a lower and enforced residential speed limit at 15 mph:
    – less noise from slower traffic
    – improved reaction time (perhaps more parents will allow their kids to play closer to the street zone (Appleyard)
    – improved intersection sight triangle zone where landscaping is mature (SW)
    – improved propensity for drivers to yield to crossing pedestrians
    – allow for an evolution in street standards to allow more woonerf/ winkel type streets
    – and most importantly a safer place for pedestrians to walk for all those neighborhoods without sidewalks.

    Basically a first step to making our residentials streets better social spaces vs. only transportation corridors.

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  • amy July 6, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    There are so many great ideas here, it is really wonderful that people are talking about this and able to exchange thoughts and insight into this issue.
    Truly it is like any other issue that affects public safety. I used to work in a school where no peanuts or peanut products were allowed on the premises due to one child who had a severe allergy.

    Of course there were always people who argued that it was \”not fair\” to others, but when it comes to a matter of life and death for even one child, we took a firm stand.

    When it is your own child, you don\’t expect other parents to raise a stink about the topic, knowing your son or daughter could die if they came into contact with the allergen.

    Likewise, we ban smoking in most public places because we look at the overall affects on people and know that it is dangerous to many. Again, some raise a stink about their \”rights being taken away,\” yet, the majority of people support the issue simply because we know it will eventually save lives.
    15 MPH on neighborhood/side streets? Can this help to prevent accidents, injuries, and fatalities? You bet. Argue against it, but hopefully it is not your child who runs out in the street or yourself on a bike who is the next fatality in Portland.
    Just ride around town and you will see all of the flowers and white bikes – and know that for every single one you see, there are many more unmarked places where people have lost their lives or been injured on neighborhood streets.

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  • AllOver July 6, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    Everyone seems to be referring to their kids running out in the street.

    I don\’t know about everyone here, but I was taught at a young age (5) to always look both ways before getting on the street. Perhaps the blame on kids running out into the street and getting hit by a car should be placed elsewhere. I understand accidents happen, but come on, personal (parental) responsibility.

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  • Mommy July 7, 2007 at 11:40 am

    allover – I agree with you completely. My 3 year old knows very well to watch for cars before even entering a parking lot. I trained both my kids to be fearful of cars. There were several near misses during the training though I have to say. Had I not been watchful, easily could have lost one. Also, I do remember as a kid playing pickup games of baseball in the street with the neighborhood kids because our street had about one car per hour drive on it. My dad posted a big \”slow children\” sign on our street (or he got the city to do it). It hurt our self esteem to think Dad thought the kids on our street were slow. ha ha. Anyway, on slow residential streets, it\’s too bad that it\’s not safe for kids to play out there and what could we do to make it safe? I do see the point there. It\’s so hard as a parent these days to find a place to just let your kids go play like I remember doing as a kid. Is it because the world is more dangerous or that we are more aware of the dangers?

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  • ChrisP July 7, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    How slow is safe enough? Why not 10, or 5 miles per hour? Everyone needs to take responsibility here. Certainly drivers need to be alert for children in neighborhood situations but that doesnt excuse parents from the responsibility of keeping children and toys out of the street as much as possible. The street is not a personal playground or lounging area. It is a thouroughfare designed for the passage of motor vehicles and should be respected as such.

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  • amy July 7, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    good points mommy and ChrisP, and I guess it is something that we will always be asking ourselves (regarding safety and dangers).
    Chris, I do not think that Portland public will begin lounging in the streets if the speed limit is reduced. It most definitely is a throughfare, but is not limited to only motor vehicles. Where sidewalks do not exist (as on 72 miles of arterial streets in Portland), people are forced to use the street as a walkway. Pedestrians cross streets, and cyclists most certainly use the streets too. Let\’s not get carried away with the idea that slowing down traffic on neighborhood streets will result in people setting up play structures and patio furniture in the middle of their roads.

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  • Andy July 7, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Trouble isn\’t speed limits. It\’s the clowns who blow through a narrow street at 40mph trying to make themselves a shortcut.

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  • ChrisP July 8, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    Cyclists and cars must share the same space to be sure, and as an avid cyclist myself (and pedestrian!) I am a most emphatic supporter of anything that would make drivers/cyclists/pedestrians more aware of each other, and their responsibilies towards one another. What concerns me is that throughout this thread I see people of the opinion that the streets should be made safer not just with regards to the traditional interaction of different modes of traffic, but so that they will provide a safe place for their children to play. This seems to me to be a very dangerous and downright irresponsible position to take, and one that seriously increases the potential for an accident no matter what the posted speed limit is. I feel personally that 15 mph is a bit on the slow side. I\’d be more that willing to accomodate that, however, if along with educating drivers about neighborhood driving ediquitte we could educate residents that parks and yards are the best places for children to play, not in the street.

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  • Todd B July 9, 2007 at 12:51 am

    Drivers and kids make mistakes…as humans.

    Slower vehicle speeds allow for more avoidence of these mistakes by others or correction by the operator. And survival by all.

    Many of the streets that this law would include were not designed originally for cars, but pedestrians, carrages, and bicycles.

    Think of these speeds as a form of \’cul-de-sacs\’ for the in town set …without having to put up street closures like the suburbs have.

    Just remember…when you are on these streets …you are in someones\’ \’front yard\’ and have arrived.

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  • tonyt July 9, 2007 at 9:11 am

    Todd B,


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  • tonyt July 9, 2007 at 10:26 am


    Yards and parks? And what if one does not have a park nearby? And many houses in Portland have little or no yard to speak of.

    Does there need to be a scheduled \”playdate\” everytime kids want to play so a parent can take them to a park? What about neighborhoods being a place where kids ARE and PLAY.

    And what if we\’re talking about kids riding their bikes around? Again, does it have to be a big scheduled event with parental supervision? Why can\’t they just ride their bikes? We rode a lot on the streets in our neighborhood. It\’s where we learned how cool bikes were. It\’s where the love affair begins.

    I, and many people I know, were able to play in the streets when I was growing up. It seems though that there is a vicious circle of parental paranoia (there were more kidnappings in the 70s than there are now), anti-social driving (reinforced and accomodated by fewer kids on the street), and videogames that keep kids inside and in case you haven\’t noticed, they are GETTING FAT!

    I say that one important step, of many, is making neighborhoods safer and more friendly to basic human presence. If driving cannot allow for the presence of children, well, then I guess we all know where our priorities are.

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  • ack July 9, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    Tony and Todd

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  • brian July 9, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    On residential streets we need enforcement for what is posted. 25 mph is slow enough if people are not talking on the phone/reading/playing with their dog/doing make up/eating messy big macs to flesh out the already huge bottom. Are those things legal while driving?

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  • mommy July 10, 2007 at 2:01 am

    Tony and Todd, you said it perfectly. Residential streets are not, nor were they meant to be \”thoroughfares\”. They are ways for people who live there to get to the places they live. They are meant for local traffic, not a shortcut for fast drivers who dislike stoplights. In fact, the local homeowners are the ones who have to pay for upkeep and upgrades on those streets. People driving through should act in respect of the people who live there.

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  • Mary July 29, 2007 at 9:29 am

    If you want to see the debate about a 10-mph speed limit on the \”Bicycle Freeway\” in Minneapolis (a divided highway for bikes, with a separate pedestrian path, leading from the western suburbs into downtown Minneapolis along two old rail lines), check out the MplsBikeLove forum:

    You guys have it good.

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