Salt Lake may lower downtown speed limit

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The speed limit in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City could be dropping soon. It would go from 30 mph to 25 mph if the City Council approves a new transportation master plan.

Council member Soren Simonsen said, "There's a lot of people that don't like being told what to do."

But he says a lower speed limit is not going to hurt drive times.

"Quite frankly, the impact on travel times across downtown, we're talking about a difference in travel time of a few seconds," he said.

Supporters also think the city will be safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. Simonsen would even like to see a speed limit of 20 mph or 15 mph.

A vote could come in the next couple of weeks. If it passes, the speed limit could change within the year.

According to the Deseret News, the city's transportation director defines the affected area as bordered by North Temple, 200 East, 400 South and 500 West, but exactly where reduced speeds would apply still is being studied.

A study by the U.S. Department of Transportatin in 1999 found only 5 percent of pedestrians die when hit by a car traveling 20 miles per hour.


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