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Seattle City Council Approves 20 MPH Speed Limit on Residential Streets

Residential streets in Seattle will have 20 mile per hour speed limits. Graphic: City of Seattle
Residential streets in Seattle will have 20 mile per hour speed limits. Graphic: City of Seattle
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20 is plenty for Seattle.

The City Council voted unanimously yesterday to lower speed limits on residential streets to 20 miles per hour.

On all other streets, the default speed limit will be 25 mph, though speed limits may vary on major roadways.

The change is part of the city's Vision Zero effort, aimed at eliminating traffic fatalities by 2030. Every year about 20 people are killed and 150 are injured in traffic crashes in Seattle. About 50 percent of victims in fatal crashes are people walking and biking.

Gordon Padelford, policy director with Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, which led the push for the legislation, said he's thrilled with City Council's decision.

"We’re already working on the city's annual budget process to find additional funding for traffic-calming along arterials that will help implement the policy," he said.

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways is asking for $1 million for "Vision Zero spot improvements" -- traffic-calming elements in key locations.

The group is also seeking $2 million for a road diet on Rainier Avenue South -- a particularly dangerous corridor.

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