Seattle plans to reduce most speed limits to 25 mph citywide

Seattle plans to reduce most speed limits to 25 mph citywide.

Get ready to drive even slower in Seattle.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on Tuesday that speed limits will be reduced to 25 mph on 80 percent of city streets as part of the city’s Vision Zero goal to end traffic deaths and series injuries by 2030.

Most arterials in the city -- meaning streets with dividing lines -- will be lowered from 30 mph to 25 mph.

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Changing signage across the city will cost $1 million.

Seattle has already lowered speed limits downtown and on small residential streets.

Other safety improvements planned are:

-- Seattle will work with the Washington State Department of Transportation to reduce speeds on state highways within city limits, including Aurora Avenue North on SR 99 and Lake City Way on SR 522.

-- Seattle police will double the number of red-light cameras and add safety cameras at five new school zones. The department will also provide 1,200 more hours of enforcement on streets with a high number of injuries. Officers will focus on giving warnings and educating drivers.

-- Patrols will also monitor intersections and bike lanes to curtail unsafe driving practices.

-- The city will create a new Major Crash Review Task Force with a panel of experts to analyze every serious and fatal collision in the city to help prevent similar incidents from happening again.

-- Vision Zero street teams will be launched to raise public awareness of safety issues and to let people know about lower speed limits and other changes.

-- SDOT will double the number of intersections equipped with leading pedestrian intervals to 250 in 2020. Such intersections give pedestrians a few seconds’ head start to begin crossing the street before cars get a green light, making people in crosswalks more easily seen by drivers.

-- The city’s 2020 budget also adds $20 million for safety projects on Highland Park Way, Boren Avenue, Rainier Avenue South, and Martin Luther King Jr Way. Seattle will also work with WSDOT to put into place $2 million in safety improvements on Aurora Ave North and build $8.5 million in safety investments on Lake City Way.

According to a release from the mayor’s office:

“Speeding is a critical factor in traffic collisions; a pedestrian is twice as likely to be killed if hit by a car travelling 30 mph than a car travelling 25 mph. On roads where the Seattle Department of Transportation has already implemented a 25 mph speed limit, the department has measured a 35 percent reduction in crashes, a 20 percent reduction in severe injuries and deaths, and negligible impacts to traffic congestion.”