A Major Wisconsin City Might Lower Residential Speed Limits
If you plan on traversing the streets of Milwaukee, WI, you might need to slow your roll in the immediate future.
The City of Milwaukee is mulling over cutting residential speed limits from 25 to 20 mph. It's yet another effort to try and combat reckless driving, with local law enforcement hoping a reduction in speed limits will save lives.
Mike Amsden, the Milwaukee Department of Public Works' multi-modal transportation manager, said that the change is part of "Vision Zero," a plan announced last week. Its goal is a lofty one: eliminate all traffic deaths within 15 years. Vision Zero is a coalition of several cities around the world, all with that common goal in mind.
Amsden also commented about the proposed change:
"We do know that higher speeds lead to more severe injury or death when a crash does occur."
Now how exactly would traffic deaths be eliminated? Vision Zero prioritizes safer street design, aggressive enforcement of traffic laws, increased driver's training and education, and community engagement. The plan is being funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.
Since the Milwaukee Police Department's Traffic Safety Unit was launched in February 2021, they've issued an eye-popping 14,000 speeding tickets.
Vision Zero also becomes law ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, and roadways always see a significant uptick in traffic over holiday weekends.
Keep in mind, the new 20 mph speed limit hasn't been approved yet. The Common Council of Milwaukee would ultimately have final say on the matter. In the meantime, local leaders are stressing awareness as the most significant component of the campaign.
Being that Vision Zero requires technical expertise in the realm of urban planning and development, a consultant team made up of transportation engineers and marketing and policy firm experts is to be assembled.