ROCHESTER, Minn. - Rochester city leaders could approve reduced speed limits on certain roads. After Monday, 30 miles per hour signs could be changing to 20 miles per hour.
Throughout the month of November, the community gave their input on the Safe Systems approach being proposed in the Med City and feelings were mixed. The Public Works Department wants to move towards a 'slower is safer and twenty is plenty' protocol. This proposal comes after the city has averaged one pedestrian or cyclist hit by a car every nine days. The traffic and parking manager, Sam Budzyna, said their goal is to put safety for everyone on the roads - so drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians - at the forefront and work towards a zero death policy. "People just, they don't like it. They don't like people speeding passed their house," explained Budzyna. "30 miles per hour is too fast for a local street."
Studies have shown that on average, lowering the speed limit to 20 miles per hour versus 30 will only change your travel time by one minute. Budzyna said if approved, only residential streets would be lowered. "These are not the kinds of roads and streets that you take to get all the way across town," he said. "Our streets are laid out in a way that you have a local collector at least every half mile. So your house is not going to be more than a half mile away from a higher street classification."
There's an interactive road map available on the city's website that shows you what the current speed limits are on every street and what the proposed speed limit is. The public hearing begins Monday afternoon at 3:30 via Zoom. The Public Works Department is hoping to have a final answer on the proposal by the end of the meeting.