Lancaster speed limits

LANCASTER — Speed limits on 12 city roadway segments will decrease by five miles per hour based on results of a new traffic study.

An engineering and traffic survey study prepared by Interwest Consultant Group to establish speed limits on 32 roadway segments recommended lower speed limits on 12 of the 32 roadway segments. Speed limits on the other 20 roadway segments will remain the same.

The 32 roadway segments are unique because they underwent changes in either striping or configuration as part of the city’s enhanced safety efforts identified in the Master Plan and Complete Streets, Safe Routes to Schools, and Safer Streets Action Plan.

Assistant city manager Trolis Niebla, recently promoted from city engineer, said the traffic study gave the city an opportunity to look into the effectiveness of those safety efforts.

“So how are we doing?” Niebla asked during a presentation at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “Well, when you looked at the speed, we saw a reduction of five miles an hour at the posted speed limit on 12 of those 32 segments. Twenty of those remained unchanged, so they’ll have the same speed limits that they had before.”

The study, conducted last October and November, found a two-mile per hour drop in the average speed across all 32 segments. The city also saw a 37% reduction in injury collisions on the 32 segments after the roadway configurations were completed.

“We think that these results really reaffirm these safety efforts that were identified in our council-adopted master plan, and that the implementation of staff is really having a positive impact on our community,” Niebla said.

Mayor R. Rex Parris asked if the city could put up a digital sign to show the estimated number of lives saved by the roadway improvements such as the roundabouts.

“Otherwise, I don’t think the connection’s made,” Parris said. “Yeah, there’s a little bit of inconvenience to this, but the value of it far exceeds that inconvenience.”

The City Council unanimously introduced an ordinance to establish the speed limits. The ordinance requires a second approval to become law.

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