Minneapolis to consider reducing speed limits on city streets

The suggestion was made as part of the Vision Zero campaign.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Lowering speed limits on city streets is one of the proposals being considered by Minneapolis City Council in an effort to improve safety on the roads.

Members of the transportation and public works committee were given a presentation by Vision Zero, a traffic safety campaign introduced by former Mayor Betsy Hodges in 2017, which proposed reducing speed limits as its core strategy for improving safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians in the city.

The speed limit on most city streets is currently 30 mph, though Vision Zero's Ethan Fawley did not put forward a speed limit that should be introduced.

Its proposals come after an extensive consultation process with city residents. Of the people it asked about the ways in which safety could improve on city streets, the most popular responses were "build additional street safety improvements" and "slow down cars and trucks to safer speeds."

"We are proposing to reduce speed limits on our streets, because we know that this is going to save lives," Fawley said. "Higher traffic speeds make it harder for someone to stop and increases the likelihood of crashes ... and increase the likelihood that a crash is going to be deadly."

"People don’t necessarily know that [speed] is such a big factor in crashes and the severity of crashes," he added. "So lowering the speed limits is a big opportunity for us to tell that story and let people know that this is a really big deal."

The Minnesota Legislature recently gave cities the power to change the speed limits on city streets, with Fawley noting Vision Zero is working with Mayor Melvin Carter to introduce reduced limits in St. Paul as early as next year.

One of Vision Zero's "guiding principles" is putting safety and human life first, and notes that pedestrians and bicyclists make up a disproportionate number of people severely injured or killed on city streets.

"People in Minneapolis make 18 percent of their trips on foot, but pedestrians are 29 percent of severe traffic injuries and deaths. People in Minneapolis make 5 percent of their trips by bicycle, but bicyclists are 16 percent of severe traffic injuries and deaths. The share of traffic-related severe injuries and deaths borne by people walking has increased in recent years."

When it comes to enforcing the new speed limits, Fawley suggested that an automated speed camera system, as seen in other cities and countries, would be the most effective at reducing speeds.

He also suggested increasing traffic police patrols, though some council members noted it might be difficult to obtain the funding for a comprehensive patrol unit.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Other safety proposals that Vision Zero suggests are increasing speed bumps near pedestrian crossings, reducing four-lane roads to three lanes, removing "high speed turn" lanes, and adding "pedestrian refuge islands" in the middle of intersections.

Vision Zero has a target of achieving zero traffic deaths or severe injuries on Minneapolis streets by 2027.

The city is now taking public feedback on the proposals, with the idea of coming back with more concrete recommendations in the coming months. You can have your say here.

You can watch the presentation here, starting about 30 minutes in.

Next Up

Wikimedia Commons - COVID vaccine, pfizer, shot - Martin G

FDA authorizes Pfizer COVID vaccine for young teens

None of the trial participants that received the vaccine were diagnosed with the virus.

flickr - shopping basket covid

Secret shoppers rate the most COVID-safe stores

Two of Minnesota's largest companies topped the list.

Minneapolis police

Woman found shot dead in Minneapolis parking ramp identified

Police have arrested two suspects in connection with the incident.

ambulance, crash

Victims of triple-fatal Maple Grove crash ID'd as woman, 2 toddlers

The single-vehicle crash happened just before 7 a.m. Saturday, May 8.

Ray McNeary

Charges: St. Cloud bank robber wanted to 'go viral,' become 'a martyr'

Police were in a standoff with him at the Wells Fargo bank for more than 8 hours.

MSU-Mankato hockey, Minnesota State, Mavericks

Minnesota State to host St. Thomas at Hockey Day Minnesota 2022

The newly-formed CCHA will have a marquee matchup in its inaugural season

rocky taconite-silver bay

Six of the weirdest roadside attractions in Minnesota

From a two-story outhouse to a squad car's crash with a UFO, here's a list of some of the state's weirdest attractions.

boys volleyball

MSHSL to vote on adding girls wrestling, boys volleyball tournaments

A two-thirds majority vote is needed to pass the proposals.

restaurant-602894_1280

Shakopee restaurant owner charged with 58 tax crimes

The woman, from Savage, is accused of underreporting sales to avoid tax.

gofundme - abdullahi photo

Second suspect, a 17-year-old girl, arrested in Moorhead taxi driver's killing

Abdullahi Abdullahi was found dead in his taxi last week.

Wild

Big playoff implications for the Wild Monday night

Minnesota wraps up the regular season Wednesday-Thursday in St. Louis.

Related

Speed limit

Speed limits will be reduced on Minneapolis, St. Paul streets

The change affects arterial and side streets in the metro's two biggest cities.

Speed limit

The speed limit on Minneapolis streets is now officially 20 mph

It went into effect as soon as the city finished installing its new gateway signs.

Speed limit

Signs start going up for new 20 mph speed limits in Minneapolis, St. Paul

The speed limit will be 20 mph on city streets, unless otherwise stated.

Drive through

Why is Minneapolis considering a ban on drive-thrus?

It would prevent any new drive-thrus being built in the city.

Bar beer

Minneapolis lifts COVID restriction limiting bar service

The city kept the ban in place while statewide restrictions were loosened in January.