In late 2022, City Council approved a lower speed limit for most residential streets. Signs are scheduled to be installed in the spring of 2023.
About the Program
The speed limit on most residential streets will lower from 25 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour.
Speed is a critical factor in how often crashes occur and how severe those crashes are. According to the Federal Highway Administration, speed limit changes alone can lead to measurable declines in speed and crashes.
National guidance encourages local governments to set appropriate speed limits to ensure the safety of all roadway users. This is especially important in urban areas where people walk, bike, and drive. The likelihood of a person being killed or seriously injured when struck at 35 miles per hour is significantly higher than if that person is struck at 25 miles per hour or 15 miles per hour.
The speed limit will be reduced on most residential streets. In the map above, all City streets were categorized into four categories:
Zone 1: Streets that would need significant changes to support and encourage drivers to obey a lower speed limit. Strong police enforcement would also be needed. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) approval may be required. Two streets are included in this zone: Washington Street and Broad Street.
Zone 2: Streets that would need widening and geometric changes for a lower speed limit. Strong police enforcement would also be needed. Some of the streets included in this zone are West Street, Great Falls Street, Park Avenue, and Maple Avenue.
Zone 3: Streets that would need little to no changes, no VDOT involvement, and little to no additional police enforcement. These are the streets that will have the speed limit lowered to 20 miles per hour. The majority of the streets in the City are in this zone.