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Councilors want city speed limit lowered from 30 to 20 m.p.h.

City councilors said today they will work to craft a proposal that would let Boston drop the speed limit on most roads to 20 m.p.h. - just 15 m.p.h. in school zones.

The measure, which would require action by the state legislature, would overturn the current system, in which the city can only lower the default 30 m.p.h. limit on specific roads after undertaking lengthy, costly traffic studies on the road.

Councilor Frank Baker (Dorchester), who proposed the measure, said 30 m.p.h. is simply too fast on Boston roads with parking and bike lanes on both sides.

Councilors said today they get more calls about speeding drivers on Boston's narrow streets than anything else.

Councilor Josh Zakim (Back Bay, Fenway, Mission Hill, Beacon Hill) noted the recent drag-racing crash on Beacon Street.

Councilor Tim McCarthy supported the measure, even though "part of what hurts the most is it's our neighbors who are speeding."

But he also cited drivers of the MBTA's route-50 buses, who he said speed down Summer and Austin streets "like they're going to the IndyCar."

Councilors noted that similar home-rule requests to the state legislature have failed, but said they hope this one would pass because it is crafted to be just for Boston, not towns where it might not be needed, such as Ludlow, where a key legislator in the transportation area came from.

"If you go 20 m.p.h. anywhere in Ludlow, you probably wouldn't get out of Ludlow for a couple days," McCarthy mused.

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Comments

Are they intending to make the default limit 20 within Boston? If so, that's silly. 20 MPH is really slow and people will not obey it. Does anyone really think that if the limit on Beacon St was 20, that drag racers would then go somewhere else?

If the goal is to have the ability to selectively drop the limit to 20 in certain areas, then that makes sense. The city should have the option to do what is necessary.

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Unless we are talking about Storrow Drive then 30MPH is too fast for city streets that are filled with pedestrians, cyclists, etc. Boston drivers flat out suck and obviously can't handle going over a slow crawl. All 5 pedestrians killed in 2016 were struck while crossing in the crosswalk. The odds of a pedestrian surviving a crash at 20MPH are 95%. The odds of them surviving a crash at 30MPH is only 55%. Peoples lives are more important than drivers getting home 2 minutes faster.

So, yes, the speed limit needs to be lowered and the police need to do a much better job of enforcing it. We also need cameras at intersections to catch people who speed through intersections, drive through red lights and kill pedestrians. That would also need state approval, unfortunately.

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for decades. The key to improving safety is ENFORCEMENT of laws for ALL road users, not just car drivers.

20 mph (and 15 mph for school zones) is unenforcable, which is why it won't work.

Also, see DTP's posting about why the City Council shouldn't even be considering a blanket limit, but should leave efforts involving traffic to trained professionals.

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Tens of thousands of people are killed by cars in this country every year. So clearly it hasn't worked.

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Of those "tens of thousands", how many were pedestrians/bicyclists killed by a car traveling between 20-30 mph within a city? How many wouldn't have been killed if the car was traveling at 20 mph instead?

Because that's the relevant statistic/point to be made.

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Depending on your data source, you are seven to nine times more likely to die after behind struck by a car going 30mph than 20mph.

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How was that data taken? Were there volunteers willing to be hit at 20mph and 30mph? How many?

All of this is meaningless if speed limits aren't enforced.

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Yes that is precisely how science works.

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Depending on your data source, you are seven to nine times more likely to die after behind struck by a car going 30mph than 20mph.

Using that logic, the speed limit should be 10 mph everywhere. If one life can be saved, it's worth it.

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Weren't we still draining the humors in 1980? Weren't brake systems little more than putting your foot through the floorboards?

Here's more modern data which says it's only about a 2x increase in fatality risk...AND it also includes all the possible caveats...like underreporting of all the impacts that happen where nobody gets hurt and so there's no report filed.

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and so we should not change it?

Why should the speed limit on my one way-cars parked on both sides-residential street be the same as The Riverway?

30mph is too fast in most sections of the City. 30 mph on Washington Street? 30mph on Blue Hill Ave? Columbus Ave? Broadway? No. 20mph is more appropriate.

I support this home rule petition fully.

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than the Riverway, then DO THE BLOODY WORK TO PROVE that. Blanket speed limits are just a BAD idea.

For those of you who disagree, ask yourselves why we have so many Stop signs in place. Answer - Because in 1986, the Legislature took approval of stop sign installations on local roads away from the state highway department, and allowed local communities to install them themselves. The result - gaggles of UNWARRANTED (and therefore UNSAFE) stop signs were installed - what I like to call "the stop sign fairy came to town."

Design and implementation of traffic control should NEVER be left up to politicians for one simple reason - they can't say no to idiotic requests. And this proposal is one of the most IDIOTIC requests I've seen in a long time.

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How MA handled "right on red" by letting towns decide if intersections are "safe enough" to do it. We were the last state forced into implementing right-on-red.

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1979/12/4/right-on-red-comes-to-boston...

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The City of Boston cannot get the speed limit changed on all the streets in my neighborhood without home rule petition.

We tried. They tried. The City Council is taking steps to protect our neighborhoods.

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Exactly how I feel.

Blanket speed limits are just a BAD idea.

Design and implementation of traffic control should NEVER be left up to politicians for one simple reason - they can't say no to idiotic requests.

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The default is 25 In most states. Even in Michigan the speed limits are lower. Speed limits in the past have been set by assuming 80% of people will drive that fast, with zero consideration of other road users. This has been codified into design manuals and law, so there is often little room for us to advocate for slower speeds. This plus an entrenched older generation in this field who haven't yet caught up to international best practices. Additionally, I'm sure they've been working with dr furth and others within the field on this. This didn't come out of nowhere.

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Nailed it all around, well done.

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What speed have the 5 deaths has been hit so far? If the accidents are occurring at 30 MPH, then lowering it to 20 MPH have some merit despite there also counter arguments. If they getting at a much faster speed, then lowing to 20 MPH just increases the number of drivers in violation while not changing the conditions related to the accidents and its victims.

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If people are safer at 20mph...are they even safer at 15mph? 10?

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99% chance of survival when a vehicle is traveling at 20mph is PRETTY GOOD, considering chance of survival is only 50% at 30mph.

http://www.seattle.gov/Images/Departments/beSuperSafe/pedSpeeds203040.jpg

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I will agree with you on some of your concerns, however I wholeheartedly disagree with you on red light cameras. They are used for money making purposes not for anyone's safety.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131218/00014725598/red-light-cameras...

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2008/08/red_light_camer.html

http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/10/red-light_cameras_may_be_haz...

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of putting politics (in this case, revenue generation) over engineering standards and claiming it's in the name of improved safety. In some of the more notable cases (such as Chicago), yellow light times were decreased well below the established minimum standards (it's actually a formula that takes both speed and intersection width at a given location into account, and is not "one size fits all" for every light). The result was an increase in violators, but also an increase in rear end collisions from people suddenly stopping as the light turns yellow ##.

## Despite the common misconception often perpetuated in driver's manuals throughout the country, there is no legal requirement in either the UVC or the MUTCD that requires a driver to stop on a yellow light if they haven't entered an intersection.

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and fatality rate of all 50 states. Obviously, we don't suck as much as you fantasize with your active imagination. Boston/metro Boston also ranks 6th (ties with Dallas) for worse traffic for major metro areas in the US; top 5 being Chicago and Washington DC (tie), Los Angeles, Houston, S.F.

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Doesn't it seem like the obvious answer is staring us in the face?

Place cops through high-violation areas and start ticketing the drivers who are speeding & going through red lights!

They think dropping the speed limit to 20mph (for abiding citizens) is the solution to the dragdrivers and MBTA buses who drive "like they're going to the IndyCar?" Seriously?!?

Also, has anyone else thought about what dropping the speed limit by that much will do to traffic downtown--and how long it will take to get around?

So, in summary, because some people speed like crazy & drag race (and should be ticketed/arrested) the new plan is to make everyone NOT speeding drive even slower. Worst. Idea. Ever.

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Boston is a densely-populated city to begin with, and there are a lot of pedestrians, bike-riders., etc, to boot. 30 mil is too fast for Boston's streets.

Also, the 15 mph in school zones is good, due to pedestrian crossing, as well.(such as mothers walking young children to and from school, etc.,)

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Instead of dropping it, why don't they have BPD actually enforce the current speed limit. All I have ever seen is on Comm Ave east bound by the cemetery at BC. I often find people going extremely fast in Boston.

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You're correct. If only the councilors could come up with some sort of agency that is responsible for enforcing the traffic laws already on the books!

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This city is notorious for its lack of traffic enforcement. I could go down a few beers, get in my car, drive 15mph over the limit, run through a red light, cruise past a stop sign, cut off a bike or two, and I seriously doubt I would get pulled over.

I have witnessed people running red lights in front of cops many times, and they barely bat an eye. The details are the worst.. what's the point of having a cop stand there playing with his cell phone?

The original comment is valid. This city should not waste its time changing laws it hasn't even bothered to enforce!

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While crossing the street (on foot) in a crosswalk, with a cop one car back, and one car over. Officer made eye contact with me after the collision and then turned his head away.

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You're correct. If only the councilors could come up with some sort of agency that is responsible for enforcing the traffic laws already on the books!

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Especially if the laws aren't enforced?

I'd prefer to see raised pavement at crosswalks and busy intersections.

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These things are not mutually exclusive.

Furthermore, if you did add a bunch of engineering to make a street that encouraged people to drive only 20mph, would you want to be forced to leave up the 30mph speed limit sign?

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are already posted, than that means that the necessary engineering studies should have already been done to establish the "reasonable and proper" speed limit for that road as 30 mph. If physical changes to the road justify a lower speed limit, the city or town can seek to have the special speed regulation amended so signs denoting the lower speed limit can be put up.

Note that Massachusetts does not allow the posting of regulatory signs on roads governed by prima-facie (default) speed limits. From MGL Chapter 90, Sections 17 and 18:

Section 17. No person operating a motor vehicle on any way shall run it at a rate of speed greater than is reasonable and proper, having regard to traffic and the use of the way and the safety of the public. Unless a way is otherwise posted in accordance with the provisions of section eighteen (emphasis added), it shall be prima facie evidence of a rate of speed greater than is reasonable and proper as aforesaid (1) if a motor vehicle is operated on a divided highway outside a thickly settled or business district at a rate of speed exceeding fifty miles per hour for a distance of a quarter of a mile, or (2) on any other way outside a thickly settled or business district at a rate of speed exceeding forty miles per hour for a distance of a quarter of a mile, or (3) inside a thickly settled or business district at a rate of speed exceeding thirty miles per hour for a distance of one-eighth of a mile, or (4) within a school zone which may be established by a city or town as provided in section two of chapter eighty-five at a rate of speed exceeding twenty miles per hour. Operation of a motor vehicle at a speed in excess of fifteen miles per hour within one-tenth of a mile of a vehicle used in hawking or peddling merchandise and which displays flashing amber lights shall likewise be prima facie evidence of a rate of speed greater than is reasonable and proper. If a speed limit has been duly established upon any way, in accordance with the provisions of said section, operation of a motor vehicle at a rate of speed in excess of such limit shall be prima facie evidence that such speed is greater than is reasonable and proper; but, notwithstanding such establishment of a speed limit, every person operating a motor vehicle shall decrease the speed of the same when a special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic, or by reason of weather or highway conditions. Any person in violation of this section, while operating a motor vehicle through the parameters of a marked construction zone or construction area, at a speed which exceeds the posted limit, or at a speed that is greater than is reasonable and proper, shall be subject to a fine of 2 times the amount currently in effect for the violation issued. Except on a limited access highway, no person shall operate a school bus at a rate of speed exceeding forty miles per hour, while actually engaged in carrying school children.

Section 18. The city council, the transportation commission of the city of Boston, the board of selectmen, park commissioners, a traffic commission or traffic director, or the department, on ways within their control, may make special regulations as to the speed of motor vehicles and may prohibit the use of such vehicles altogether on such ways; provided, however, that except in the case of a speed regulation no such special regulation shall be effective unless it shall have been published in one or more newspapers, if there be any, published in the town in which the way is situated, otherwise in one or more newspapers published in the county in which the town is situated; nor until after the department, and in the case of a speed regulation the department and the registrar, acting jointly, shall have certified in writing that such regulation is consistent with the public interests; (emphasis added) provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall be construed as affecting the right of the metropolitan district commission or of the department of environmental management to make rules and regulations governing the use and operation of motor vehicles on lands, roadways and parkways under its care and control. No such rule or regulation shall prohibit the use of passenger or station wagon type motor vehicles whose gross weight is less than five thousand pounds and which are registered for commercial use on ways where noncommercial passenger type motor vehicles are permitted to operate. No such regulation shall be effective until there shall have been erected, upon the ways affected thereby and at such points as the department and the registrar, acting jointly, may designate, signs, conforming to standards adopted by the department, setting forth the speed or other restrictions established by the regulation, and then only during the time such signs are in place. Any sign, purporting to establish a speed limit, which has not been erected in accordance with the foregoing provisions may be removed by or under the direction of the department.

Any person, corporation, firm or trust owning a private parking area or owning land on or abutting a private way, or any person, corporation, firm or trust controlling such land or parking area, with the written consent of the owner, may apply in writing to the city council, the traffic commission of a city or town having a traffic commission, the transportation commission of the city of Boston or the board of selectmen in any town in which the private way or parking area lies, to make special regulations as to the speed of motor vehicles and as to the use of such vehicles upon the particular private way or parking area, and the city council with the approval of the mayor, the traffic commission of a city or town, the transportation commission of the city of Boston or the board of selectmen, as the case may be, may make such special regulations with respect to said private way or parking area to the same extent as to ways within their control and such special regulations shall not be subject to approval by the department or the registrar; provided, however, that any traffic signs, signals, markings or devices used to implement such special regulations shall conform in size, shape and color to the most current manual on uniform traffic control devices.

The highlighted section of Chapter 90, Section 18, is the requirement that the City of Boston is trying to circumvent with this foolish idea.

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This:

I'd prefer to see raised pavement at crosswalks and busy intersections.

is something I'd like to see more of too, Boston_res. Moreover, already-existing laws must be enforced.

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is slightly faster than an elite marathon runner's sustained speed, slower than many sprinters and actually difficult to maintain in a vehicle. Just another law to make everyone a criminal; enforcement will depend on your bumper stickers.

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What marathoner are you talking about? 15mph is a four minute mile.

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as stated in my diatribe...

also prefaced with slightly faster..

You're welcome.

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Yes, a 4 minute mile has been run, but not 26 in a row by a single person. The pace of the fastest marathon recorded was 4 minutes, 41 seconds, which rounds up to 5 minutes. It works out to 12.8 MPH, which, coming from a guy who can barely make it above 8 MPH, is fast, but not speeding in a school zone fast.

Just saying.

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Assuming the Beacon St drag racers were going over 30, then they have nothing to do with this proposal.

I actually agree speed limits should be lower in places. But I strongly disagree with tugging on heartstrings with a bogus inclusion of car racing (presumably the Bently was exceeding the speed limit when it crashed) in the discussion. Zakims a smart guy. He can do better than this.

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The drag racers are symbolic of Boston drivers as a whole, who feel they can do whatever they want and put others lives at risk. I was nearly killed just this morning by an SUV who speed through a red light when I had the walk signal. This happens almost every day. It isn't about pulling heart strings, it is about saving innocent peoples lives. Drivers are by far the most dangerous thing in Boston and it is time to hold them accountable for killing people.

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and UNENFORCABLE speed limit will accomplish this how?

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Why is a 20mph speed limit less enforceable than a 30mph limit? The mechanisms for enforcement are exactly the same (ie, speeding tickets).

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And you might understand why a 20 mph speed limit on a road designed for 30 mph is a BAD idea. Plus, unreasonable regulations are difficult to enforce and uphold in the long term.

Not to mention the cost of the resources involved for the increased enforcement. And don't give me that "but the fines will pay of it" argument - that is skating on the fine line between legitimate safety enforcement and revenue generation.

Problems with speeding on specific streets? Then get drivers to reduce their speed through design and engineering solutions. But "lowering the speed limit will automatically make drivers slow down" is a truly naive approach to the problem, and one that the City Council seems to be following as gospel.

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But many are not designed for 30 MPH traffic. Once you get off the major streets, maintaining 30 on the majority of side street is dangerous. Cops can't do anything because the universal speed limit. This is a huge problem in the neighborhoods. We talk about it constantly at our civic association meeting.

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Because nobody will drive 20. Nobody. The city councilors themselves who support this will not drive 20. You won't. I won't. They can't ticket every car in Boston.

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A few good speed humps keep people in line - if they like their exhaust system.

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what the Councilors are asking for.

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How is it unenforceable? Last time I checked we have a police department fully equipped with cars, motorcycles, radar detectors.

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Moreover, stiffer penalties for violating the law should be implemented, as well.

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I'm sorry you were almost hurt by someone running a light.

The drag racers are symbolic new
By Kinopio on Wed, 03/30/2016 - 2:18pm
The drag racers are symbolic of Boston drivers as a whole, who feel they can do whatever they want and put others lives at risk. I was nearly killed just this morning by an SUV who speed through a red light when I had the walk signal. This happens almost every day. It isn't about pulling heart strings, it is about saving innocent peoples lives. Drivers are by far the most dangerous thing in Boston and it is time to hold them accountable for killing people.

But like many others have noted, your close call is mainly related to enforcing existing laws about running red lights. Very little or nothing to do with lowering speed limits to 20.

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Among Bostonians (as in the rest of the US) you are, by far, the greatest danger to yourself.

http://www.bphc.org/healthdata/health-of-boston-report/Documents/HOB-201...

Congratulations, you're as bad as the people that are convinced they're going to get killed by ISIS tomorrow. You (the commenter, the reader, whatever) are far more likely to die from chronic lifestyle-induced disease.

Can't you just admit that you don't want cars driving fast down the road near pedestrians because it kills the walkable city vibe? I don't like it much either.

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Sorry to hear that you almost got run over by an irresponsible SUV driver who sped through the red light when you had the WALK signal.

The fact that the laws aren't enforced is why so many Boston, and Bay State Drivers, generally, take liberty and license to do whatever they please, and other people be damned.

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The Herb Chambers Bentley drag racers... what happened to the investigation? Has anyone heard additional details?

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It won't be enforced. The current speed limit isn't, so why would it be enforced if they lowered it? Drivers will still run stop signs and speed down narrow streets like they're on the interstate. And don't you dare call them out on it. It'll earn you a punch in the face and U-hub posters will wonder what you did to deserve it.

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I support speed bumps everywhere in the city. It would force drivers to slow down and make the city way safer for pedestrians .

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Not good for cyclists though... I can't imagine riding over speed countless bumps on a regular basis.

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And I mean bike lanes where vehicles cannot drive/park/idle/etc. in them. I know. I'm dreaming of a utopia. But with all the money this city boasts about, one would think this could be a reality.

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I've never had any issue with 20mph speed bumps when on my bike. Most either have space on the sides to get around, cut throughs, or are humps that are very easy to get over - like the ones in Somerville near Tufts.

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The roving hoards of bicycle kids and motorcyclists will turn them all into a BMXer's wet dream. Or at least the beginnings of one.

Wheelie! Catching air! Do it for the kids!

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Speed bumps are awful to ride over for cyclists... unless you are slow. Might be good for the 'burbs, but true urban cyclists who actually live in Boston and cycle as primary mode of transportation would never go for it.

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As a traffic engineer I'm a bit insulted that the city council thinks they're more qualified than us to determine what is a safe speed on Boston's streets. Which they clearly do, since this proposal is trying to remove the state requirement that the city consult with engineers before lowering the posted limit.

This essentially boils down to a combination of a knee-jerk reaction to the drag racing crash (even though the participants were exceeding the posted limit anyway!), and the fact that now councilors can say to their constituents "see, look, I tried to address your complaint!"

What we as a city SHOULD be doing, however, is redesigning our streets so that the currently posted limits accurately reflect the design speed of the road. If you want people to slow down, the solution isn't to change numbers on a sign. As engineers one of the first things we learn is to use roadway geometry to control traffic, never signs. Signs should always be just a backup. We should be building raised crosswalks, cycle tracks, and curb extensions, and conducting wholescale reevaluations of our streets. Do we currently need this number of lanes that are this wide? Should there be an additional crosswalk here? Should parking be allowed here? Would buses benefit from a dedicated bus lane and signal priority here? Does this street need to be a through street?

And in the interest of full disclosure, I live in the city and do not currently own a car, but do drive regularly.

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You can drive 30 mph on most Boston arteries completely safely.

20 mph would only shorten braking distances about 2-3 car lengths. How many problems have happened 4-5 cars away instead of 3 or fewer cars away. In more narrow roadway situations, like through the Financial District or on smaller community roads, I never see people doing 30 mph anyways.

Giving the City Council carte blanche on this would be a stupid idea. These aren't political decisions.

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You see a lot less at 30mph than 20mph, and you do much more harm when you hit something.

A 20-year study of London found a huge drop in road injuries.

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On the contrary, the greater the speed, the more harm you'll do if and when you hit something or somebody. That being said, I stand by my opinion that a 30 m. p. h. speed limit is too fast for such densely-populated areas such as Boston, especially given the number of pedestrians, cyclists, etc., that there are here in this area.

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I think you need to re-read what was written.

"You see a lot less at 30 mph than at 20"

and

"you do much more harm when you hit something." (meaning - at 30 than 20)."

You two are on the same side in this argument.

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Drive safely if there are no crosswalks and people pulling from parking spaces and pedestrians in the area? Sure.

But that isn't what the city looks like. Somebody on FB was complaining about people in the crosswalks on Mass Ave in North Cambridge - he couldn't see them in time. Turns out he considered 40mph to be a "safe speed" because "its a divided highway".

Ugh.

If you can't see people and other vehicles who have the legal right of way in time to react to them, your speed isn't a safe speed. Period. It doesn't matter if you could drive that stretch when completely deserted and not hit a curb. That's not the right definition.

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this matter? I think it's perfectly prudent, on their part.

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all good points.
The city council is only doing this because the cool kids in NYC lowered the speed limit from 30 to 25 mph. Im surprised it took them this long.
There is actually a lot of data that show that a large percentage of drivers will drive somewhat near the speed limit, but physical geometry is always the better way to go.
It can be as inexpensive as pavement markings with narrower lanes (and then BTD actually maintaining pavement markings).
We just need to get rid of some dinosaurs in BTD/DPW (not to mention the 'no change at any cost' residents of this city) and we could start implementing some of these measures like many other cities have already done.

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The fact that NY is doing it is irrelevent. Many neighborhoods have been asking for changes in speed limits and have been unsuccessful.

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They're not saying they know better than you. Quite the opposite, in fact--they're looking for the ability to lower the speed limit to 20 or 25MPH in areas where it would make a difference in pedestrian/bicyclist safety. Which they currently cannot do, even at the urging of traffic engineers, unless they do a whole bunch of studies (which in practice is so expensive that such a proposal is DOA).

20 MPH shouldn't be the default, I completely agree, but there are places in Boston where 30MPH is crazy. I live on a steep hill, with parking on both sides of a one-way street and a bunch of small kids. I drive like a Masshole in plenty of places, but when the speedometer creeps past 20 on my street, it feels genuinely unsafe. We've brought this up with BPD a couple of times, and the response every time has been a collective shrug of the shoulders and explanation that they couldn't drop the speed limit below 30 even if they wanted to.

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Doesn't mean you can't be cited for driving 30mph if the situation (steep hill/tiny 1 way street, etc) dictates that it's unsafe to do so.

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the only time you would be cited for something like that is AFTER you hit something. Or someone. Like many others, I would much rather see better enforcement.

I often catch the #9 bus on Herald St., and it's scary watching the cars speed by (when it's not gridlocked) as if they were on the Pike itself.

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We're so concerned with the roads that feel slow at 30 dropping to 20 that we forget there are roads where 20-25 feel fast. Blanket speed limits don't work.

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they will work to craft a proposal that would let Boston drop the speed limit on most roads to 20 m.p.h. - just 15 m.p.h. in school zone

Doesn't sound like they're looking for approval to do this just in areas where it would make a difference in pedestrian/bicyclist safety. to me.

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"would allow them the ability to drop the speed limit," though I admit the language is ambiguous. Adam, do we have any sense of how that clause is intended to read?

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However, I took exception with "most roads". That tells me the City Council is looking to implement this regulation well beyond "select areas"

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Excellent. It's absurd that the city can't set its own speed limits (or liquor license quota, etc.). Some guy from Ludlow should have zero say in the speed limit on Boston streets. Glad to see so many councilors on board already.

To those who say why bother because it won't be enforced, well shit, why have speed limits at all, huh?

I know this is a crazy concept, but some people do actually try to obey laws.

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To those who say why bother because it won't be enforced, well shit, why have speed limits at all, huh?

Bingo, that's false logic. You can make the same argument to get rid of any law really, since there will always be offenders and law breakers. Kudos to the Council on this.

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This will simply allow the fuzz to write bigger speeding tickets/ add reckless driving charges when the speed limit is doubled, which would be always. More money for the city in fines, more money for the state in re-issuing licences after them being suspended. Everything, all issues, are about money. If you think this is about safety or saving the lives of the poors who walk places you are sadly mistaken.

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the condition of an S&S in Roxbury, some guy in Ludlow has no say over a Chapter 18 special speed regulation proposed for Boston or any other community. However, safety engineers at MassDOT do have that say. And that's for one good reason - so that the regulations actually reflect accepted standards and practices, and are not enacted at the whim of local officials because "some residents wanted it." - see my previous post about stop sign proliferation for an example of how this philosophy can go horribly wrong.

Some may argue that this seems unnecessarily bureaucratic, but it actually embodies one of the basic principles of good government - checks and balances.

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Speed limit signs would help

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New York is 25. California is 25. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for Boston.

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this bill is meant for the narrow side streets of my neighborhood in Uphams Corner. Frank Baker is doing this for us, among others. All streets in Boston are technically 30mph unless, as Adam said, the city goes through a lengthy and costly traffic study to change an individual street.

My street is a favored cut through to or from 93, regardless of which one-way direction it is and just to avoid 2 traffic lights. I drive up my street at 15mph, driving the out-of-towners behind me nuts. But then I get to wave a my neighbors!

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the city goes through a lengthy and costly traffic study to change an individual street

.

So, if the neighborhood wants the lower speed limits that badly, get the neighborhood to fund the studies instead of the City. But no, let's take the LAZY way out of crying to the politicians to change long established and effective rules instead without first demonstrating that the change will actually result in tangible benefits.

This attitude is exactly what is wrong with government, especially local government, these days.

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This is typical of the blanket way of dealing with issues that is typical of the City Council. Have some really bad landlords? - impose strict new standards for registering unit (even vacant ones) for useless inspections on all landlords and ignore the ones that you already know to be the problem. Problems with speeding? - lower the speed limit on all drivers everywhere in the city and don't address the individuals or the locations that are the problem. The problem isn't those doing 20-30, it's those doing 50! If they can't enforce a 30 mph speed limit, whatever makes you think they can enforce a 20 mph one? And what do you think the impact would be on traffic - more traffic congestion means more danger for everyone.

This isn't a way to make the city safer; it's a way of increasing revenues through ticketing while acting like you're really doing something.

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narrow the lanes and reduce their number. make it safe for pedestrians

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We have a weird culture with speed limits because of the speeding tolerance that has evolved, which makes getting a speeding ticket for going 1-9 MPH over the limit rare and feel unreasonable. You see 30 on the sign and you thin, okay, this road is meant to handle 30-40, so 35 should be okay. Does 20 MPH mean tolerating up to 30, then?

Speed limits need to be changed across the board on every single road in this country to separate the speeders from normal people. Determine not what the "safe speed" is but determine what exactly "speeding" is on any given street. Once you establish that number, post it on the sign and actually enforce it to the number. No more tolerances. 5 MPH under should be the new 5 MPH over. People drive the speed they feel is appropriate on any given location on any given road, and they will do that regardless of the speed limit. You can't just slow traffic down by slapping a number on a sign.

Have appropriate and reasonable speed limits tailored to each road and each location and the only people who will speed will be speeders. Want to slow down traffic? Change the road. If "everyone" is speeding then the road is designed wrong or the speed limit is too low.

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Somebody who gets it!

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This is great, studies have shown only 10% of pedestrians die being hit by a car going 20 mph, but 50% die when the car is going 30mph and 90% are killed by motorists going 40mph. Speed kills, and in cities drivers need to slow down. I know a lot of advocacy groups have been pushing this for a long time, and am glad that the city council is finally listening. I hope Walsh signs this into law immediately.
peds.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Impact_of_Speed-large.jpg

https://www.aaafoundation.org/sites/default/files/2011PedestrianRiskVsSp...

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Because nobody drives 20 mph.

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I would rather get at the heart of the issue and make earning a driver's licence more difficult through training and require added training on a yearly or bi-yearly basis. Similar to what is required of trained, licensed professionals - CEU's or LU's, but make them actual in-field physical training.

As a motorcyclist I learned that my head must be on a swivel at all times and I try my damnedest to carry that over to my 4-wheeled experience as well.

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Teaching pedestrians how to be pedestrians once more. No keeping your face stuck in the wee screen of your phone. No just stepping out into the crosswalk without looking to see if it's safe to do so. Just because you step off the curb, a nearby moving car (for reasonable dimensions of nearby), may not be able to stop in time. We can all interact well and responsibly and safely, but it takes all of us to pay attention to the world around us. Life on your phone or headphones is not that important.

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It wont be enforced is such a bullshit cop-out.

Everybody knows cops only enforce speed if it is significantly higher than the limit.

Go 42 in a 30? it will be enforced.

Go 33 in a 30? Never.

So say the speed limit is 20. Now going 33 WILL be enforced because its so much in excess of the limit.

Will people going 24 be stopped? Nope. But thats slower than theyre going now.

So yes, this is good.

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"Northbound Southeast Expressway humming right along at 20 MPH. Northbound HOV lane - doing the same.

- John Doe, WUHB Copter..."

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Why wasn't this an issue 6 years ago when people started drag racing on American Legion Highway and Hyde Park Ave? Oh that's right because it was Rozzie not Beacon St! This is BS!

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Yeah, that's only a six year old problem for you. I used to stumble across the drag racers back in my clubbing day in the 1990s, and I believe other visitors to this site have older memories.

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A section of the Jamaicaway is marked as a 25 MPH limit. Strangely, it does not stop drivers from continuing to drive at 40MPH. I don't believe that being able to mark some streets with a lower speed limit will have any effect at all until the limits are enforced. As far as I can tell, they are not enforced at all on the Arborwary/Jamaicaway/Riverway, Centre Street, or VFW Parkway.

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As far as I can tell, they are not enforced at all on the Arborwary/Jamaicaway/Riverway, Centre Street, or VFW Parkway.

No, the speed limits are not enforced on the above-mentioned roadways, which is precisely the problem. If they can't get cops to manually enforce the speed limits on those roadways, maybe the city and state should consider installing a radar speed limit detection/enforcemtn system, like they have in parts of the Mid-west or other parts of the country.

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I have been stopped on the Jamaicaway. On my motorcycle, on a sunny Sunday morning with few other vehicles on this road. It was the only time I'd ever been stopped by an officer on my motorcycle. (I love the g-forces on sweepers)

I was very lucky to be given a written warning.

And I've seen others stopped in the past as well. This road is somewhat patrolled and speeding is sometimes enforced.

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and s/he just happened to notice you speeding and decided to pull you over. If that happened more often, things would be way different.

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They were sitting there just on the hospital side of the bridge over the beginnings of Route 9. They were there to pull people over where the speed changes from 45 to 25.

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