Sunday, July 20, 2008

A new limit

Haunting Numbers
WalkBoston is promoting legislation that will lower the default speed limit in denser areas in the Commonwealth from 30 to 25 mph. All for it.

As noted here just about a year ago, there is a dramatic increase in the death rate of pedestrians hit by cars as the speed of the car increases. At 20 mph, 5% of those hit die. It's up to 85% at 40. So slower speeds are better for pedestrians, and denser areas of the Commonwealth ought to be pedestrian-friendly and -safe.

Lower speed limits are unlikely, however, to lower speeds. At least not immediately. The biggest factor in automobile speed is roadway design, not speed limits. But, lowering the speed limit by 5 mph will make it easier to argue that design speeds should be lower.

As the saying goes, write your state legislators. Ask them urge House Ways and Means Chairman Robert DeLeo to act favorably on House Bill 4635.

Thanks to Andreae for the info.

Photo by SPangborn used under a Creative Commons license.

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