Columbus Could Lower Downtown Speed Limits

The city council will vote on a proposal to lower speed limits to 25 miles per hour to improve safety and make downtown more walkable and welcoming to pedestrians.

1 minute read

January 31, 2023, 10:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Downtown Columbus could see its speed limit lowered to 25 miles per hour if the city council approves a proposal at this Tuesday’s meeting, reports Mark Ferenchik in The Columbus Dispatch.

According to Ferenchik, “The Downtown streets where speed limits would be limited to 25 mph are in an area bounded by Interstate 670 to the north, Interstate 71 to the east, Interstates 70 and 71 to the south, and the Scioto River and Neil Avenue to the west,” as well as part of the Scioto Peninsula.

The new rule would lower the speed limit from 35 miles per hour, a decrease that is shown to drastically reduce the risk of serious injury and death in crashes involving pedestrians. “Officials in Austin, Texas, studied intersections in that city where similar changes were made and found an 18% reduction year-to-year in the number of pedestrians hit by left-turning vehicles at Downtown intersections.” The plan must be approved by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to move forward.

As part of its Vision Zero goal, the city also plans to adjust traffic light timing to slow traffic and change light timing at some intersections to give pedestrians a head start when crossing. The changes would align with the strategic plan developed by the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, which calls for a more walkable downtown.

Monday, January 30, 2023 in The Columbus Dispatch

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