Springfield drops speed limits to make neighborhoods bike/ped friendly

Springfield is dropping speed limits on neighborhood streets, in large part to help makes those areas safer for walking and bicycling:
J.L. Anderson is thrilled people driving around his neighborhood will have to start slowing down next month when the speed limit drops.

Hundreds of new 25 mph speed limit signs will begin popping up in dozens of Springfield neighborhoods starting June 9, but it will take about six months to complete the conversion of signs throughout the city. . . .

Making the streets safer for those walking and biking is the primary reason the speed limit is being reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph in residential areas, City Traffic Engineer Earl Newman said. . . .

Anderson, too, will be doing his part to encourage people to slow to 25 mph in neighborhoods by putting a "Pace Car" sticker on the rear window of his vehicle.

As part of the "pace car program, residents make a pledge to drive the speed limit in neighborhoods, Newman explained.

He said residents who sign up for the program are more likely to commit to driving the new speed limit. The more pace cars on the street, the more traffic will slow down, he added.
It would be great to see this idea spread to other cities around Missouri.

The "neighborhood street" portion of any trip is so short--typically 1/4 mile or less--that dropping speed limits even to 15 or 20 MPH has almost no effect on total trip time.

But lower speed limits dramatically improve the environment for walking and bicycling, and lower traffic speeds increase property values measurably--because a neighborhood inviting for walking and bicycling is a place people want to live.