Recognizing the importance of lowering speed limits to improve safety, a number of cities have successfully amended their speed limits in recent years. The four cities highlighted below present interesting lessons learned for other municipalities looking to lower speed limits on their streets.
In 2016, Seattle lowered its default speed limit from 25 to 20 mph on neighborhood streets and from 30 to 25 mph on arterials. The City has also begun to reduce speed limits within urban villages, where lots of people walk, bike, drive and use transit.
In 2014, New York City lowered its default citywide speed limit from 30 to 25 mph, which complemented a Neighborhood Slow Zone program implemented in 2011.
In 2016, the City of Cambridge lowered its default citywide speed limit from 30 to 25 mph. In the years since, Cambridge has leveraged authority to further reduce speed limits to 20 mph in Safety Zones to reduce speed limits to 20 mph on nearly every street in the city.
In 2018, Portland lowered the default speed limit on residential streets from 25 mph to 20 mph. This change complements 20 mph speed limits in business districts.