Every year in Rochester, hundreds of people are struck by vehicles while out walking and biking on our community streets. The top two factors in traffic fatalities in this country are alcohol and speed. And the percentage of crash deaths that involve speeding is higher on minor roads (like our neighborhood streets) than on highways and interstates.
How fast we drive on our community streets impacts that safety and quality of life for those who live, work, play and shop along those streets. Around the country, cities such as Cambridge, MA, New York City, and Seattle, are lowering their speed limits to make residential streets safer. Many are hoping Rochester will soon follow suit.
Join the effort led by HealthiKids to reduce the City speed limit from 30 to 25 mph on residential streets.
- Send a message to City Council Now
- Attend this month’s City Council meeting and “Speak to Council” to show your support for safer streets: Tuesday, October 17th at 6:30PM
Can 5 or 10 mph really make that much of a difference?
The higher the speed, the greater the risk to a pedestrian or cyclist.
A person has more than a 90% chance of surviving if hit by a car traveling 20 mph. If that car is traveling 40 mph, there is about a 90% chance that person will die. Those risks increase if the pedestrian is a child or older adult. The human body can only handle so much.
Reduced speeds are good for pedestrians AND drivers.
Lower speeds allow drivers more time to notice things and react. If something is in the road 100 feet ahead of you when driving 40 mph, you will hit it going 36 mph. If you are traveling 25 mph, you can stop well within 100 feet.
At lower speeds, crashes are likely to be avoided altogether. And if they do occur, they will be far less severe.
Reduced speeds can benefit the entire community.
- Reduced public health costs
- More vibrant local businesses
- Healthier people
- Happier people
- Improved quality of life
- Improved property values
- Lower crime rates
[Read more about the benefits beyond safety]
Reduced speed limits on our residential streets alone aren’t the silver bullet, but are an important tool in the overall solution to safer streets. Done in concert with education, enforcement and design, the culture of how we use and share our streets can begin to change.