Seattle proposes cutting city speed limits | KUOW News and Information

Seattle proposes cutting city speed limits

Sep 13, 2016

The city of Seattle wants drivers to slow down.

On Tuesday officials announced a plan to reduce the speed limit on all streets without posted signs.

That means arterial speed limits in the city center would drop from 30 miles per hour to 25. And all residential streets would drop from 25 miles per hour to 20.

Scott Kubly, head of Seattle's Transportation Department, and others delivered a message at a Seattle press conference: Speed kills.

“If you're struck by a vehicle that's going 40 miles an hour and you're a pedestrian, you have a 90 percent chance of dying,” Kubly said. “If you're struck by that same vehicle going 20 miles an hour you have a 90 percent chance of living. And so this is a really big step that we can take to make our most vulnerable users safe.”

The goal is to better protect pedestrians and bicyclists. The proposal is part of the city’s effort to eliminate traffic deaths by the year 2030 under the global Vision Zero initiative.

Credit City of Seattle

Vehicles hit hundreds of pedestrians on Seattle streets each year, according to city data.

Just today a driver was arrested in the University District after a pedestrian was hit on Northeast 65th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast.

The speed reduction proposal would need approval by the City Council.

The council's transportation committee will start discussions next week.