Nashville is reducing speed limits on many neighborhood streets to 25 mph.
Last year was the deadliest year for pedestrians, which eclipsed the record setting toll in 2019. But when speeds are lower, national and local studies show that car crashes and pedestrian incidents are more survivable.
“No child and no senior and no one — no Nashvillian — should be put in harm’s way by walking unsafe and unwalkable streets,” says Councilmember Emily Benedict, who sponsored the speed reduction.
The change has also been supported by Mayor John Cooper, who included it in his campaign policy platform.
Other residents and advocates have long called on Nashville officials to lower the speed limit. The city studied the difference in some neighborhoods in 2018, before beginning the process to make the change in early 2019.
Didn't get to speak but I wanted to share that a pedestrian struck @ 25mph has a 25% chance of being seriously injured – but that climbs to 50% @ 33mph. Lower speeds also reduce crashes per a study done when Boston lowered their limit in 2017. Let's save lives. Glad this passed. https://t.co/oudrJY44uR
— Delishia Danielle Porterfield Dares To Reimagine (@Delishia4D29) February 3, 2021
In the debate Tuesday, Councilmember Jonathan Hall raised questions about the city’s financial commitment to other traffic control measures, like speed bumps. And Councilmember Steve Glover voted against the measure because he’s concerned the police department will be overloaded with enforcement.