Monday, February 11, 2008

I Can't Drive 55! But I Can Probably Manage 25

Remember this post from last October: I Can't Drive 55
Turns out the guy was a prophet who was ahead of his time:

There would be an introduction to the Pace Car Program, which involves residents voluntarily signing a pledge to drive the speed limit in their neighborhood and all city neighborhoods. Residents have more power than they realize to slow the pace of traffic on their own streets.

I think the 25mph speed limit is a good idea on neighborhood streets. I earlier had some correspondence with Michael Brothers of the city on what is a 'neighborhood street'.

Here are the answers to your questions about the speed limit changes. The answers are from Earl Newman, our head traffic engineer. Please do post them on your blog if you want, along with any other links you think people might be interested in. One of the handiest links is to an interactive map that shows exactly which streets which be at what speeds after the proposed changes. You have to zoom in a bit.

Also, do you care if we post these questions and answers on the forum on our Web site? Others may have similar questions. Let me know if there's anything else you need. Thanks.

Mike Brothers
Special Projects Coordinator
City of Springfield
Office: (417) 864-1119 Fax: (417) 864-1114

-What is a residential street?

The proposal for 25 mph speed limit will mostly affect neighborhood streets. The criteria we are using includes those streets which have single family residential development on both sides, two lanes for traffic movement and carry less than 1,500 vehicles per day.

The way the 25 mph speed limit would be implemented is to change the General(Blanket) Speed for the city from 30 mph to 25 mph. This means that a motorist is to assume that in the absence of speed limit signing higher or lower than 25 mph, the speed limit is 25 mph. In this regard, the City Traffic Engineer would have the flexibility of signing streets at a higher speed limit if needed based on a traffic study (of prevailing speeds, volume and location). Only City Council can approve the posting of speed limits lower than 25 mph.

Our intent is to keep all major streets (Expressways, Major Arterials, Secondary Arterials) and most Collector streets at their current speed limit. There will be a few residential collectors that we will be able to sign as 25 mph if they meet the criteria listed in the previous paragraph. The streets that will be changed if the proposal is approved will mostly be neighborhood local streets but we will also lower the speed limit other local streets even with non-residential development, i.e. industrial local, commercial local, etc.

-Is Fremont considered a residential street?

Fremont Avenue has mostly single family residential development north of Sunshine. However, having residential development along a street does not make the street a ³residential street² from a traffic perspective. Having single family development along both sides of the street is one consideration for posting 25 mph but we must also take into account the traffic volume. As an example, Fremont north of Grand has single family residential development but carries over 2,000 vehicles per day. Since Fremont is a Collector Street, we would not be able to post 25 mph on this segment of street. Fremont Avenue is classified as a Collector Street north of Sunshine and is classified as a Secondary Arterial south of Sunshine.

- How about Portland? I live on West Portland and I am comfortable with 30 mph. On the streets that come off Portland, New, Missouri, Ferguson, etc, 30 is too

Portland Street is classified as a Collector Street. The street carries just over 1,500 vehicles per day. We propose leaving the speed limit on Portland Street from Fort Avenue to Glenstone Avenue at 30 mph. The other streets mentioned are local streets and we would reduce those streets to a 25 mph speed limit.

-Is Grant between Parkview and Sunshine considered residential?
There is residential development along Grant Avenue between Parkview H.S. area and Sunshine. However, the street is functionally classified as Secondary Arterial and carries over 5,000 vehicles per day. This street will remain posted with a 30 mph speed limit.

-How about Stanford between Campbell and Grant.
Stanford Street is classified as a local street and meets all criteria for posting with a 25 mph speed limit.

The SN-L has an article about the proposed lower speed limits. City Council will talk of it this evening. If you don't want to get out in the weather to go to the City Council meeting, they are televised on mediacom cable channel 23 and Life of Jason usually liveblogs the meetings.

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