May 11, 2022
Everyone deserves to walk or bike through our neighborhoods and enjoy our community without fear of becoming injured or killed by a moving vehicle.
I am elated that the City Council approved the reduction of the speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph in our residential neighborhoods last night. This life-saving change will be reflected on roughly 420 miles of city-owned roadways, or about 70 percent of our streets, and although it is a big step toward the safer city residents deserve, it is just one step.
Last week I announced that Salt Lake City will form a Safe Streets Task Force to identify the most critical areas of our city where intervention may be necessary to prevent future crashes, injuries and deaths. I also announced that Salt Lake City will become the first city in Utah to partner with UDOT’s Zero Fatalities education program, which focuses on preventing drowsy, distracted, and impaired driving.
I’m grateful to residents from around the city, and in particular Sweet Streets SLC, for their steadfast advocacy on behalf of pedestrians and bicyclists. Salt Lake City has long been a vehicle-first city, but as we grow and our population density increases — as more pedestrians walk and bike through our neighborhoods and on our streets — we need to evolve. We must put the safety of pedestrians first.
As the City Council considers my FY2023 budget proposal, I urge them to approve proposed funding for the Livable Streets program, which will allow our Transportation Division to follow up this speed-limit change with physical changes to the streets that will slow drivers down.
We’re also revamping our Transportation Master Plan for the first time in more than 25 years. That high-level policy document will guide the implementation of future projects across all modes of transportation, including vehicular, public transit, pedestrian and bicycle. I encourage residents to get familiar with the undertaking and get involved to make our streets better for everyone. Visit www.SLC.gov/connectSLC.
In the meantime, let’s all recommit to being safe drivers. As we have seen too many times in recent years, the lives of children, mothers, fathers, and so many loved ones depend on us. The city is going to keep working harder to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe, but we need you to do your part, as well, and slow down, and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.