PORTLAND – The speed limit on some city streets will drop from 25 miles per hour to 20 mph, as a safety move to protect cyclists and walkers.
The Portland City Council approved lowering the speed limit on 70 miles of “neighborhood greenway” streets, which are designated as streets where active transportation is the first priority.
Mayor Sam Adams believes lowering the speed limit will prevent injuries and save lives.
“The survival rate being hit at 20 miles an hour is 95 percent, at 30 mph it’s 60 percent to 65 percent. So this will reduce injuries and deaths on city streets,” Adams said.
A state law passed in 2011 allows cities to lower speed limits by five miles per hour to provide safer bicycle and pedestrian corridors.
The ultimate goal of neighborhood greenways is to reduce motorized vehicle traffic, by making it more appealing for drivers to travel on main arterials.
That sounds like a good thing, to cyclist Maria Gonzalez.
“The safer we can be as car drivers, it’s better because sometimes it’s hard to see bikes… and it’s good to be aware of the speed limit.”
One sign was unveiled at a ceremony Friday; about 250 signs will go up this winter, to enforce the 20 mile per hour limit.