Speed limit changes are taking place in Rochester

Updated: April 07, 2021 05:56 PM
Created: April 07, 2021 05:53 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Speed limit changes are taking place in Rochester. The speed limit on un-posted streets will be 25 mph. For streets with a speed limit other than 25 mph, any changes take effect as soon as signage is installed. Signage installation is expected to begin in the coming weeks. 

The public is advised to pay attention to speed limit signage as it will likely change from what is previously posted on low volume streets. The implementation process is expected to take six months to complete. The City of Rochester is focused on an educational campaign as a part of the change.

Rochester City Engineer Dillon Dombrovski shares, “We used the ‘Safe Systems’ approach to determining the speed limits on City streets. This approach puts the safety of all road users as the top priority when making decisions related to our streets. Not only will this speed limit reduction make our streets safer, it will make our neighborhoods more livable and advance our efforts towards zero deaths.”

Vehicle speed at the time of impact directly correlates to whether a person will live or die. Reducing speed limits on streets where people walk, bike and play will help prevent severe injuries and death. A person hit by a car traveling at 40 miles per hour is five times more likely to die than a person hit by a car traveling at 20 miles per hour. A growing body of research shows that speed limit changes alone can lead to measurable declines in speeds and crashes on city streets, even without increased enforcement or engineering changes.

Not every city-owned street in Rochester will be 25 mph. For example, roads such as Elton Hills Drive, 37 Street NW, and Broadway Avenue outside of the business district will remain their current posted speed. Speed limit signs will be posted where the speed limit is something different than 25 mph. Speed limit changes on these major roadways may occur in the future. Additionally, the coming changes only apply to city-owned streets. Speed limits on county and state owned roads such as East Circle Drive, West Circle Drive and Marion Road are not changing.

The City Council approved this change in December 2020. The topic was first brought before City Council after a 2019 change in State legislation that granted cities the authority to set speed limits on streets under their jurisdiction. The City Council directed Public Works teammates to prepare an ordinance giving authority to the City Engineer to set speed limits on City streets, as well as a policy for using a Safe Systems approach for setting speed limits. More information is available here.

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