The speed limit on many city streets in Boston would be lowered from 30 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour under a proposal filed Wednesday in the City Council.
City Councilor Frank Baker proposed the speed limit reduction, which was referred to a committee for a public hearing.
“My number one constituent complaint is the need for lower speed limits and traffic calming measures,” Baker said.
Several other councilors echoed Baker’s statements. The measure must be passed by a majority vote of the council, signed by the mayor, and approved by the state Legislature.
Baker noted in his proposal that speed limits are regulated by state law. The default speed limit in “thickly settled areas” is 30 miles per hour unless a sign has been posted stating otherwise. Much of Boston is regarded as thickly settled.
“Thirty miles per hour is too fast,” Baker said, “when you take in consideration cars driving on both sides of the streets, cars parked on both sides of the streets, pedestrians, bikes, and bike lanes.”
In a statement issued by his press office, Mayor Martin J. Walsh did not take a position on the initiative. “Lowering speed limits is one of many tools we are looking at through our Vision Zero action plan to create safer streets in Boston,” Walsh said in the statement. “I look forward to reviewing Councilor Baker’s proposal.”
Andrew Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .