ROCHESTER, Minn. - The City of Rochester Public Works Department is proposing lowering the speed limit on local streets to 20 miles per hour.
Engineers say slowing speed limits on city-owned streets will reduce the amount of pedestrian injuries and deaths in Rochester. Officials tell KIMT News 3 safety is the first priority of this plan, which takes into account the types of crashes likely to occur on certain roadways, and the human body's ability to withstand impacts.
"If two cars side-swipe each other, a person's body within a car can handle that at a pretty high speed, said Sam Budzyna, the City of Rochester's Traffic and Parking Manager. "But a pedestrian getting T-boned can't handle that at a very high speed."
Rochester City Council Member Michael Wojcik says Rochester averages about one pedestrian or cyclist being hit by a vehicle every nine days, and this plan may help reduce the number of accidents.
"There is a lot of research saying that changing speed limits will lower the overall speeds in the community, survival rates of pedestrians, and just the reduction in number of pedestrian-vehicle crashes goes down pretty substantially," said Wojcik.
Officials also note this plan would not reduce the speed limit for many busy streets.