Seattle partners with state to reduce speed limit on portions of state routes

Mar 16, 2021, 3:23 PM | Updated: 3:38 pm
speed limit...
Speed limit sign in Seattle. (SDOT/Flickr)

The speed limit on portions of state routes within Seattle will be lowered by 5 miles per hour, including parts of State Route 99 and State Route 522.

This speed reduction is being completed through a partnership with the Seattle Department of Transportation and the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Over 150 new signs were installed on Sunday, March 14, in five locations, with plans to add additional speed limit signs to sections of State Route 99, or Aurora Avenue North, in April.

The release about the changes says the reducing speed is a nationally recognized tool for reducing crashes. This effort expands on the already completed work by SDOT to lower speeds to 25 miles per hour on most major streets in Seattle, and builds on the work as part of the city’s Vision Zero Initiative and WSDOT’s Target Zero Highway Safety Plan intended to save lives.

SDOT finishes lowering speed limit on most Seattle streets to 25mph

“We know that we must continue to make our sidewalks and streets safe for everyone. The loss of lives — often our most vulnerable travelers — due to crashes and collisions on our streets is unacceptable,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said in a written release. “Seattle has been a national leader in lowering speed limits throughout our city, and we are proud to work with WSDOT to roll out speed reductions on state routes in Seattle so all travelers are safe getting to where they need to go.”

The first phase of changes include portions of SR 523 (NE 145th Street), SR 522 (Lake City Way NE), SR 513 (Sand Point Way NE, NE 45th Street, and Montlake Boulevard NE), and SR 99 (Aurora Avenue N, E Marginal Way, and W Marginal Way). The work is underway now and is expected to finish by mid-April.

Seattle reduces speed limits, adds new signals as part of initiative to end traffic deaths

The new speed limit signs, all dropped by 5 mph from the previous limits for that area, are being installed about every quarter mile.

As part of the release, it assures that lowering speed limits has a “negligible impact on how long it takes people to reach their destination and can actually reduce traffic congestion.”

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Seattle partners with state to reduce speed limit on portions of state routes