RESEARCH ARTICLE


Residential Speed Limit Reduction Case Studies



Ginger M. Rossy1, Carlos C. Sun*, 1, Dan Jessen2, Earl Newman3
1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Missouri, E2509 Laferre Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
2 City of Springfield Department of Public Works, Springfield, MO, USA
3 College of Natural and Applied Sciences, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, USA


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Creative Commons License
© 2012 Rossy et al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Missouri, E2509 Laferre Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, USA; Tel: (573) 884-8330; Fax: (573) 882-4784; E-mail: csun@missouri.edu


Abstract

Speeding on residential/neighborhood streets is a common citizen complaint, but previous research on the effects of lowering speed limits has been limited mostly to high-volume, high-speed roads. On such facilities, studies indicated that a reduction in speed was not commonly attained by reducing the posted speed limits alone. This paper describes residential studies in the United States in Springfield and Columbia that found speed limit reductions from 30 mph (48 km/h) to 25 mph (40 km/h) did produce statistically significant speed decreases. In addition to the speed limit reduction, other issues investigated were the use of specialized speed limit signs containing a yellow border and an additional safety message, pace car stickers and neighborhood educational campaigns. The engineering studies were used by each City to guide their decisions to lower residential speed limits citywide.

Keywords: Speed limit, residential street, speed study, pace car, speeding.