Popular state-owned streets in Seattle, like Aurora and Lake City Way, have recently seen the addition of new speed limit signs with a 5 mph reduction since last Sunday, March 14, 2021 – an effort that will continue throughout the month of April. The highest speed now allowed throughout the city has been brought down to 40 mph with the exception of Interstates 5 and 90 and the tunnel on Highway 99.
As reported by The Seattle Times, “As of this month, crews have installed about 2,500 signs on about 415 miles of streets — nearly 90% of major roadways in Seattle — posting the 25 mph limit.” Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) spokesperson Ethan Bergerson stated that speed limits that remain over 30 throughout the city will continue to be evaluated.
The drastic addition of lower and more frequent speed limit signs comes as the City of Seattle “recorded the second-highest number of people killed in traffic-related crashes in a decade last year” despite the reduction of traffic due to the pandemic. In 2020, 23 crashes that resulted in serious injuries or death were seen on Aurora, which is nine more deaths than the year prior. An increase of automobile collisions were also seen on other big streets like Lake City Way in 2020, which recorded three more than the three seen in 2019.
While the city still plans to implement other ways of reducing crashes, such as repaving major roads, SDOT has the data to back the significant improvement of safety that comes with an increase of lower speed limit signs. The article states:
“In an SDOT study of five neighborhoods in north Seattle, data showed that lowering speed limits and increasing the number and frequency of speed-limit signs — without any additional engineering, education or enforcement — resulted in lower speeds and fewer crashes. The study, which published last summer, compared five years of data between 2013 and 2018 with about one year of data between 2018 and 2019. In locations with new 25 mph speed-limit signs spaced a quarter mile apart, crashes dropped 22%, the study found.”
We are glad to see the city taking responsibility for this unnecessary increase to car crashes that have taken the lives of Seattle residents. Whether you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile or bicycle collision, do not hesitate to reach out to GLP Attorneys for a free lawyer consultation. We have experience fighting for these types of cases, and want to get you the justice you deserve. Contact us today.