Boston Considers Lowering Speed Limit Even Further After Cut to 25 MPH - NECN
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Boston Considers Lowering Speed Limit Even Further After Cut to 25 MPH

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    NEWSLETTERS

    City Councilors Consider 20 MPH Boston Speed Limit

    Boston city councilors are considering reducing the city's speed limit to 20 mph two years after lowering it to 25 mph.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018)

    Community members who attended a Boston City Council hearing on pedestrian safety Tuesday described life as a pedestrian in the city as life-threatening and "the wild, wild west."

    It has been less than two years since Boston lowered its speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph. Some city councilors are exploring the Idea of lowering it again, down to 20 mph.

    Tuesday's hearing was led by the Committee on Planning, Development, and Transportation.

    Boston's traffic problem is made worse by issues of speeding and reckless driving.

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    "This is the young boy that got killed in the car on L Street and 6th Street, right where I was born, on that corner," said South Boston resident John Provenzano, holding up a photo of 2-year-old Collin McGrath. "I was born on that corner."

    As a reminder, Provenzano carries a picture of the young boy, who was hit and killed in South Boston over the summer.

    Provenzano's own daughter was struck by a vehicle over two decades ago.

    "It wasn't a good feeling, because she came very close to being killed," Provenzano said.

    There are more than 20 deaths and over 200 serious injuries on city streets each year, according to city data.

    In 2016, Boston decided to lower the speed limit on unmarked streets as part of its "Vision Zero" mission to reduce pedestrian deaths. The speed limit was officially lowered in January of 2017.

    Some city councilors want to lower it again, to 20 mph, either throughout the city or in certain zones.

    "We could reduce it to 20 miles an hour in and out around schools, elderly developments, day care centers," said City Councilor Ed Flynn.

    At a city council hearing Tuesday, Flynn and others also pushed for more immediate pedestrian safety measures.

    "More enforcement and road diets, including more stop signs," Flynn said. "More lights. Making it more pedestrian friendly."

    "Go with the local neighborhood association, walk through the area, hear from people what their concerns are," said City Councilor Michelle Wu.

    There are many.

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    "It's so congested. Something has to be done," Provenzano said.

    City councilors do not know how much the plan would cost.

    Although they would like to implement the plan within the next several months, they said it will likely take longer.

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