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Walsh backs lowering speed limit to 25 miles per hour in Boston

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Thursday he would like to see drivers on busy stretches of Boston slow down to 25 miles per hour.

The mayor’s comments came after Governor Charlie Baker signed a measure into law Tuesday that gave the state’s municipalities control over default speed limits.

Walsh said lowering the speed limit from 30 miles per hour would help save lives and reduce injuries.

“We know that lower speed limits are an important tool in reducing fatal and serious crashes and creating safer streets for people of all ages and abilities who are walking, driving, and bicycling,’’ Walsh said in a statement.

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The Boston City Council voted unanimously in April to lower the speed limit in thickly settled districts to 20 miles an hour. The council measure targeted densely populated areas that do not have posted limits. The measure also sought to lower the speed limit in school zones from 20 to 15 miles per hour.

Councilor Frank Baker, who sponsored the measure, said previously he was moved to act after he received numerous complaints about drivers zigzagging down side roads in Dorchester, cutting up main boulevards, and endangering lives.

The council’s measure, which went through Legislature, sought to give the city the authority to post speed limits without state approval and without performing a traffic study.

Walsh said he plans to work with members of the Council on setting the new speed limit once the law goes into effect in November, which is 90 days after the governor signed off.

The mayor will then file an ordinance with the City Council, who must approve it before sending it back to Walsh for his signature.


Meghan E. Irons can be reached at meghan.irons@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @meghanirons.