July 27, 2022
Salt Lake City has begun installing 20 miles per hour speed limit signs throughout the city, marking the final step of implementing a recently-adopted ordinance lowering the speed limit from 25 miles per hour on local streets.
“These signs will signal to drivers in our city that we want our kids to get to school safely. We want our neighbors to make it home from work without incident,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “But signage alone will not make our streets safer. It will take each driver in our city being committed to slowing down, staying alert and never driving under the influence.”
In June, the Salt Lake City Council adopted an ordinance lowering the local speed limit, also known as the prima facie speed limit. The ordinance impacts approximately 420 miles or 70% of the City’s public streets. Replacing the approximately 575 signs from 25 to 20 miles per hour will continue into August.
Various studies have shown the benefits of lower speeds, including:
- Lower potential for loss of vehicle control;
- Increased effectiveness of occupant protection equipment;
- Decreased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger;
- Fewer severe crash injuries;
- Lower economic implications of a speed-related crash; and
- Decreased fuel consumption/cost.
“A default 20 mph speed limit on local streets has very little impact on travel times by bus and car but does have a huge impact on safety and livability for our neighborhoods” said Salt Lake City Council Chair Dan Dugan.
While lowering the speed limit is an important policy move, City officials recognize that this is only the first step towards safer streets.
“We are excited that the recently-adopted budget includes funding to bring back a new and improved traffic calming program, rebranded as Livable Streets,” said Jon Larsen, Transportation Division Director. “As we begin the work of retrofitting our streets to reinforce lower design speeds, this new 20 mph ordinance provides a slower, safer target to aim for.”Tags: Mayor Erin Mendenhall, Salt Lake City’s Transportation Division