ROCHESTER, Minn. - Speed limits are changing across the Med City.
Officials say drivers will have to stay under 25 miles per hour on streets without a posted speed limit. For affected roads with posted speed limits other than 25 mph, changes will take effect as soon as new signage is installed.
The City of Rochester says reducing speeds on streets where people walk, bike, and play will help prevent severe injuries and deaths. Officials add a person hit by a car at 40 mph is five times more likely to die than someone hit by a car at 20 mph.
"This approach puts the safety of all road users as the top priority when making decisions related to our streets. Not only will this speed limit reduction make our streets safer, it will make our neighborhoods more livable and advance our efforts towards zero deaths,” says Rochester City Engineer Dillon Dombrovski.
KIMT spoke with a number of Rochester residents who say they support the change, believing they will help keep children and pedestrians safe. However not everyone in the Med City is on board.
"I think it's not a good idea because everybody's used to it being 30 miles per hour, so everybody's going to be getting tickets. That's all it's going to be about," said Frank Carrillo of Northwest Rochester. "At the school limits, it's fine - no problem, everybody can slow down. But residential and everything else like over here, you see no cars. Why should it be that slow? It's way too slow."
Installation of new speed limit signs will begin this month, and is expected to be completed over the next six months. The city adds not every city-owned street will be at 25 mph, with roads like Elton Hills Drive and Broadway Avenue outside of the business district remaining their current posted speed - for now.
You can see an exact breakdown of speed limit changes for each street in Rochester by viewing this interactive map.