WASHINGTON -- The D.C. Council is considering a new measure to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists on city streets: Reduced speed limits. The legislation, proposed by Councilmember Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), would lower the speed limit on residential streets to 15 miles per hour from 25 mph.
According to DCist, Bowser points to research that suggests the decreased speed would significantly decrease the severity of potential injuries to a person on the street. In Bowser's plan, higher-capacity roadways would not be subjected to the lower speed limit.Last week, online magazine columnist Michael van Baker also presented an argument for lower speed limits in residential areas:
Already, there is considerable buzz on Bowser's proposal in the social mediascape. Check out a sampling below.
Someone hit by a car traveling at 40 miles per hour has an over-80-percent chance of being killed. At 30, it's still 37 to 45 percent. But at 20, it's just five percent. The key factors are stopping time and response time–at 20 miles per hour, the driver is in control of their car, and can stop before hitting someone. As you increase speed, you have less time to respond, while stopping distance increases.
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