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Boston drivers need to get ready to slow down

The City Council today unanimously approved local adoption of a state law to lower the default speed limit on Boston roads from 30 to 25 m.p.h. The measure, which now goes to Mayor Walsh for his signature, will also let BTD lower the speed limit to 20 m.p.h. in certain designated zones, such as in front of schools.

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Speed limits, and most traffic laws aren't enforced anyway

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With a lower speed limit, the city will be able to more easily add traffic calming measures designed to force us to drive more slowly. These won't go everywhere, but right now to add them anywhere is a huge bureaucratic process because of the higher speed limit that has to be lowered block by block before they're allowed to add physical infrastructure. So expect more curb bump outs, speed humps, raised crosswalks, street parking that narrows the road, etc., where there are problems with speeding.

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Isn't the school zone speed limit already a statewide 20 mph?

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And local communities have always had the authority to designate school zones without state approval. The new law allows cites and towns to designate "safety zones" with a speed limit of 20 mph at certain locations, subject to MassDOT approval. A good summary of the various speed limits, and how those limits are established, can be found at:

http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/highway/Departments/TrafficandSafetyEngin...

Note that a "safety zone" is different from a school zone. School zone regulations are NOT changing.

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Thanks!

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I don't see it making a difference. It's not like the BPD currently issue speeding tickets. I live in a school zone in JP, and people whip through all the time.

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Cameras are the only solution to this problem. It is time to make them legal and put them all over the city. We can save lives and fine the hell out of dangerous drivers at the same time. Win Win.

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in places like Chicago, right? Cameras are NOT the solution, rational enforcement practices are.

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Cameras are just a way of making money.

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Cameras are an after the fact, let's see if we can track down who done it, measure.

The goal for everyone, including you, should be to prevent death or maiming before it happens.

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There is a street in DC where there is a green light for absolutely no reason. It just stays green all the time. It's not even at an intersection or crosswalk I don't think. But if you speed down that street, it turns red, and it has a camera on it. So if you speed, you either end up having to stop (thus taking more time), or you can run the light and get a bigger ticket for running the red. It may be overkill, but I do love the ingenuity of it.

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Until they announce a new push to actually enforce traffic laws, this is a whole lot of hot air.

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Does this apply to bicycles, too?

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but how often do you see bicycles going over 20 MPH in Boston?

Honestly if a cop gave me a 20+ MPH speeding ticket I'd probably pay it and frame it on my wall.

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Having trouble finding language directly speaking about cyclists and speeding but you can always check the link below:

http://www.mass.gov/courts/case-legal-res/law-lib/laws-by-subj/about/bic...

But I feel like the average cyclist is going 10 mph, you're really only talking about racing that gets into the 25 mph territory. Maybe we can setup some speed traps at the bottom of hills?

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Arbor/J-Way? VFW? Or are we just talking about 'standard' streets.

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Um, sorry. It applies to city-owned, non-highway roads. So, no, not the JWay or even Gallivan Boulevard, since those are state roads.

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Boston is already a sanctuary city for speeders!

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Unless it's a pre-text stop of a suspected criminal, the police aren't going to stop anyone going less than 40+. A wise Sergeant taught me that enforcement should take place at intersections/roads with the highest accident rates. Instead, police usually set up radar in areas where it's relatively safe to speed. Anyone going 25 mph would cause road rage or unsafe passing for the cars stuck behind. Foolish.

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If people can't handle going the speed limit without getting angry, they definitely shouldn't be operating a vehicle.

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20 would be insane, and 25 isn't workable on a lot of roads, but 30 being the default on quiet residential roads is insane.

To give Roslindale as an example yes, 30 should be the speed limit on Washington Street (outside of the Square) and Hyde Park Ave, but right now Glendower and Kittredge are technically also 30 MPH zones.

As long as they don't go crazy about this, 25 is a good speed limit for most streets.

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20 mph didn't come out of nowhere, and it isn't just made up by politicians. It has been a subject of very serious study the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Commonwealth.

This may help you understand that: http://www.mapc.org/sites/default/files/Speed%20Limit%20HIA.pdf

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'pre-text sort of a suspected criminal' means pulling over minorities indiscriminately to you I assume?

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Minorities? I'd say 90%+ of those I arrested were white. It's fairly standard when an officer suspects someone of drug dealing, carrying a gun etc., if you follow the car long enough they will fail to use a turn signal, roll through a stop sign or now in Boston, go 30 mph in a 25 mph zone. The insurance lobby must love this also as it will add plenty of surcharges, if enforced. I'd love to see what the insurance lobbyists are donating to the Council and Walsh.

I don't know any drug dealers or gun runners, but I tell my friends to always keep their headlights, tail lights, stickers up to date as it merely justifies a stop.

Once the car is stopped, SCOTUS has established "the motor vehicle exception doctrine" that allows a warrantless search based on probable cause. I once was told a bad guy (white) had a gun in his car. Followed him for miles until I noticed a cracked windshield. Gun under seat, arrest made.

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They can't enforce a lower speed limit without first lowering the speed limit. This is step one.

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They also can't redesign roads to reduce speeds to 20mph if that isn't the speed limit.

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