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25’s the Limit: Setting Safe Speed Limits in Your City

Would you set your teenager’s curfew based on the time they normally come home, or would you set it based on the time you want them to come home? How about speed limits? Would you set those based on how fast people are already driving, or how fast you want them to drive? In the U.S., the FHWA’s recommended approach for setting speed limits is to set them based on the speed that people are already driving, which results in higher speeds and speed limits over time.

Slower speeds save lives. But state and federal guidance encouraging the use of the FHWA’s recommended 85th percentile-based approach means that managing speed can be a frustrating uphill battle for cities that want to lower speed limits and design their streets for safer speeds. In response, NACTO has developed alternative guidance to turn this speed mismanagement around, outlining best practice for setting speed limits in urban areas. In this session, hear from cities whose practice informed NACTO’s speed limits guidance, as panelists discuss how they successfully leveraged local authority to establish a set of strategies to lower speed limits on their streets.

Session Format: Moderated panel discussion