Urging Commissioners for Slower, Safer Streets

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Bike Walk Coral Gables (BWCG) fully supports the City Commission’s proposal to lower the speed limit from 30 MPH to 25 MPH on residential streets in the City of Coral Gables. Although most residential streets in Coral Gables provide a network of walkable, shaded streets, many people biking or walking feel unsafe due to excessive speeding by motor vehicles. These speeding motorists are typically not local residents, but commuters driving through these neighborhoods. Lowering the speed limit, coupled with proper police enforcement and strategic traffic calming, will make our residential streets safer for people to move around on foot and bike. 

Many studies have shown that the probability and seriousness of bodily injury and death increases dramatically when a bicyclist or pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle traveling at speeds in excess of 25 MPH. Moreover, we know from local surveys and personal experience that concern for personal safety is a primary factor that keeps people from riding a bike on city streets. Lowering the speed limit will help to encourage more active transportation and recreation, resulting in a healthier, more livable community.

Coral Gables prides itself on being a family-friendly city and offering its residents a high quality of life. World class cities such as New York City, Seattle, Boston, Paris, Stockholm, London, Cambridge, and other communities have all recently lowered their speed limits. They recognize the benefits that accrue for everyone from slower vehicular speeds. 

Along with the lowering of the speed limit from 30 MPH to 25 MPH, BWCG encourages the City of Coral Gables to implement street designs that incentivize slow speeds (narrowing or reducing the numbers of traffic lanes, and adding street trees, blub-outs and other traffic calming features). A commitment should be made to focus the City’s resources on proven strategies to eliminate fatal and serious traffic crashes. BWCG strongly believes that this goal can only be accomplished encouraging slower speeds on city streets. Lowering the street speed limit from 30 to 25 MPH would be a significant step in the right direction.

Get involved, speak up, and tell our commissioners that you support slower, safer streets. 

The ordinance to reduce the speed limit passed on first reading on January 24, and will be heard at second reading on Tuesday, May 9. 

More info on the proposed ordinance here.

Kenneth Garcia