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Minnesota Department of Transportation
The issue of reducing speed limits to increase public safety is an emotional, political, and controversial topic that has been debated by safety advocates, engineers, politicians, transportation officials, and the public for many years. A recent statutory change has put a spotlight on the topic, necessitating a deeper look into how speed limits are established and the effectiveness that lowering speed limits has on reducing vehicle traveling speeds, as well as the impacts on pedestrian and bicycle traffic. This document examines the history of speed limits, the recent statutory change, and the consequence of the change to communities. In addition, it examines the effectiveness of speed limit changes and outlines a process for agencies to follow when deciding to make a change, and offers alternative strategies for pedestrian and bicycle safety.
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