We have all seen those signs in city neighborhoods that read, “Drive like your children live here.”
While some may find their unprompted scolding an irritant, even those of us without children know they are an oft-needed reminder to slow down on residential streets, where kids and pets are known to dart into the traffic path unexpectedly.
State law sets the default speed limit on residential streets at 30 mph, unless otherwise marked, and at least one member of Fort Worth’s City Council thinks that’s too fast.
She is hoping the Legislature will act to change that law in the upcoming session.
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Councilwoman Ann Zadeh, who represents District 9, wants the city to support a statewide measure that will reduce the default speed limit to 25 mph.
It’s a reasonable request, given that some studies show how survivability rates for pedestrians hit by cars are inversely related to vehicle speed.
But it’s also an unrealistic request, especially given lawmakers’ propensity to raise, not lower, speed limits.
While reduced speeds would be welcome in Fort Worth’s neighborhoods, it’s doubtful that such a law would include funds to support the increased patrols needed to ensure that lower speeds are enforced.
The city would benefit from a comprehensive assessment of the safety of local thoroughfares.
Indeed, it already has the ability to set a 25-mph speed limit on two-lane streets it deems unsafe.
When necessary, the council should not hesitate to use that authority.