Getting drivers to slow down in neighborhoods
Fort Worth’s city leaders support a statewide default speed limit of 25 mph in neighborhoods.
The city council Tuesday voted to amend their legislative priorities to include support of bill that would set the residential speed limit at 25 mph, a decrease from 30 mph.
Councilwoman Ann Zadeh has championed the change as a means to make Fort Worth’s neighborhood streets safer for bikers and walkers. A pedestrian hit by a car moving at 20 mph has a 98 percent chance of survival versus a 62 percent chance when hit by a car at 40 mph, according to Vision Zero, a statewide effort to lower the speed limit.
“I’ve heard from a lot of neighborhoods about getting people to slow down,” she said. “We really can’t have safe streets, or some of the other initiatives, without a lower speed limit.”
In order for a Fort Worth neighborhood to lower the speed limit, the department of transportation and public works must conduct a a traffic study before the city considers a change. That’s led to a hodgepodge of speed limits depending on the neighborhood or city, Zadeh said.
The council’s resolution specifically supports House Bill 1287, by state Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin. It was left pending in the House Transportation Committee. Other bills with similar goals have been proposed including one that would lower the speed limit to 25 mph in cities with population greater than 790,000 and one that would apply only to cities larger than 1.3 million.
A companion bill to Israel’s proposal, Senate Bill 1023, by state Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, has been referred to the Senate Transportation Committee but has yet to have a hearing yet. HB 1287 has not been voted out of the House Transportation Committee.