Wednesday, February 9, 2022

What Does It Take to Calm Traffic?

At Monday's informal Common Council meeting, a resolution was introduced amending the 2022 budget to provide $1,600 for the purchase and installation of sixteen new speed limit signs for the areas of the city--Glenwood Boulevard and Union Street--where the speed limit will be reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph. 

Today, Strong Towns posted the link to this article on its Facebook page: "STUDY: 20 Is Plenty--But Signs Alone Don't Always Get Drivers to Slow Down." It's about Portland, Oregon, where the speed limit in residential neighborhoods was recently reduced from 25 mph to 20 mph.


  1. Changing the speed limit on just 2 streets is an unwise approach, and poor, short term thinking. The 30 mph signs will still be up at the entrances to the city, and nearly every driver will stick with that number and many will continue to ignore it. Changing the speed throughout town, on every street, is the only effective way to do it. Plus, Ed Moore even admitted at Monday's meeting that monitoring speed with a radar gun on city streets is difficult, and it is clear they don't bother. Will they begin to on Union and Glenwood now that the limit is down 5 mph? Don't bet on it. This is not a solution, it's a poorly considered, expensive idea. Will they lower the limit on two more streets next year and spend another 2 grand to clutter the streets with signs that have zero positive effect?
    B Huston

  2. a couple of speed bumps would probably be more effective although annoying.

    1. Even speed humps (bumps are higher), can damage axles and cause loss of control of the vehicle and thus create their own safety hazards. There is no silver bullet here, at least that I found when investigating this very issue.

    2. Rob Perry nixed that idea months ago. It will not happen on his watch.

  3. I suggested a zillion years ago that the City ask Didi Barrett to carry legislation reducing Hudson's default speed limit to 25 mph, so one did not need to put all those signs (when I mapped it out on Greenwood it was something like 15 additional speed limit signs, and certainly not an attractive feature for the neighborhood), at every intersection to carve out a slower zone to the 30 mph municipal speed limit. Barrett was receptive to carrying it, but nobody else seemingly was. With a default speed limit of 25 mph, one could then put up 30 mph speed limit signs on parts of Green Street or whatever where a higher speed is safe.

    Greenwood is narrow, so some of what Strong Towns writes about concerning wider multi lane arterials does not apply. T intersections could also have 3 way stop signs, or a brick section or striping that creates a visual incentive to slow down, in addition to the speed limit.