Streetsblog is reporting that over the past decade London has been reducing speed limits from 30 mph to 20 mph throughout the city.  Today London has over four hundred 20 mph zones. As s result, Londoners have benefited from a 46% decline in fatalities and serious injury within the 20 mph zones during the past decade according to British Medical Journal.

A 2008 map of London's 20mph zones. Image: London Assembly.

The high speed limits within our densest population pockets discourage people from walking or riding a bicycle. Brickell Avenue has a 35 mph speed limit and Biscayne Blvd. has a 30 mph speed limit. However, the design speed of both of these roads often encourages drivers to travel at speeds of 40-45 mph.  The first step to making our roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians would be to reduce speed limits throughout Miami Dade County. The second step would be to introduce self-enforcing traffic calming measures such as: raised junctions, raised crosswalks, chicanes, road humps and roundabouts.


So what’s it gonna take for us to step up to 20 mph speed limits?  Can you imagine how much more livable our streets would be if speed limits were reduced on our city streets?  The results of the London experiment were so glaringly obvious after 4 years that in 2004 the World Health Organization endorsed 20 mph speeds as an essential strategy to save lives.

2 Responses to The Proof is in the Pudding: Reducing the Speed Limit Saves Lives

  1. Someone says:

    The only traffic calming devices we need are police officers that enforce speed limits. Coral Gables police camp out on Ponce handing out speeding tickets, therefore I don’t dare speed down Ponce. Pinecrest police hide in the swales, therefore I don’t dare speed in pinecrest. In other parts of this city I will be speeding only to have a miami dade or city of miami police cruiser speed past me. Yesterday I even saw one speed away from me in a School Zone. I was speeding at 20mph, he left me behind so he must have been doing 25 to 30mph. In a school zone…

    Police enforcing speed limits costs no money and can be implemented immediately. Plus all of the extra fines equals more money for the city and county.


  2. Prem says:

    while I don’t really like the idea of decreasing speed limits on Biscayne and other such roads, I think the idea behind speed calming measures to to ensure that even people who don’t know about the speed enforcement will slow down, keeping the street safer for bicyclists


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