Today's Question: Is it a good idea to lower speed limits?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 | 11:16 a.m. CDT; updated 2:09 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reducing speed limits in residential areas recently became a goal of the Columbia City Council. What started as an experiment in the Rothwell Heights and Shepard Boulevard neighborhoods — the limit was lowered from 30 to 25 mph — will now be implemented in all residential areas. The only problem is how to fund it.

As previously reported by the Missourian, a study by MU engineering professor Carlos Sun showed that drivers reduce their speed by two to three miles per hour with the reduce speed posted.

After reporting success in the two test neighborhoods, the council decided to take the plan citywide over the next seven years, budgeting an estimated $65,000 for the new signs.

This week, the council voted to make speed limit changes in residential areas over the next two years.

The plan is for 100 signs to be replaced this year, costing taxpayers $26,200. Next year, 500 more signs will be placed in residential areas, costing $38,750. Originally, the sign changes would have been done entirely through the public works department. But since the council’s decision to speed up the time frame, outside labor will be necessary, costing an additional $71,000.

The council is unsure where the funds to support such a project will come.

Do you agree with the City Council's decision to lower speed limits in residential neighborhoods and, if so, do you support the two-year or seven-year plan?



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