Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the difference between the speed limit sign installation project and other efforts to mitigate speed on neighborhood streets.
AUSTIN (KXAN)— The Austin Transportation Department will start installing speed limit signs to reflect reduced speeds in neighborhoods in its effort to reduce crashes, according to a city memo.
Austin Transportation has started installing the new speed limit signs in neighborhoods and hopes to have them completed by the end of the year as part of its Speed Management Program, according to the memo.
Austin Transportation workers have already installed the new speed limit signs in downtown and other streets around the city that are not in neighborhoods, according to the memo.
Starting next year, 25 mile-per-hour speed limit signs will be put at the entrance of neighborhoods with streets that are less than 36 feet wide and have front-facing residences.
In June, city council voted to establish a 25 mile-per-hour speed limit in neighborhoods and the downtown area. Other streets around the city will have either a 30, 35 or 40 mile-per-hour speed limit.
The Speed Management program reviews street data and makes recommendations to changes or reductions in speed limits where needed, according to their website. The program also applies “traffic calming treatments” — such as curb extensions, speed humps or a speed monitoring device — where needed, according Austin Transportation’s traffic calming toolkit.
To determine where traffic calming treatments needed to be added, Austin Transportation looked at a neighborhood’s crash history, risk characteristics and speed limits. They also looked at existing sidewalks, how close where community places such as a park or library and public transit, according to their Austin Transportation’s Speed Management Program website.
According to Austin Transportation’s Speed Management website, speeding is one of the primary factors that contribute to most fatal crashes in Austin, along with intoxication, distraction, and failure to yield. In the United States, 10,000 people lose their lives as a result from speed-related crashes, according to the Speed Management website.
Streets that are recommended to get traffic calming treatments include Springdale Road, Webberville Road, Blue Meadow Drive, and others. You can find the list of streets that will have these adjustments made on the Austin Transportation Speed Management program website under the “Traffic Calming Treatments” tab.
ATD expects it will have funding for 14 of these projects, and will hold meetings with neighborhoods to discuss them. All are expected to be completed in 2021.