Amendment Aims to Lower Speed Limits in City

By Dan Murphy

State legislators are proposing a bill amendment that would lower speed limits in Boston’s densely populated neighborhoods and in “designated safety zones” established by city officials.

The amendment, co-sponsored by State Reps. Denise Provost, Dan Hunt, Elizabeth Malia and Jay Livingstone, would lower the speed limit from 30 to 25 mph on city streets in thickly settled areas and business districts. It would also allow the city to create safety zones with a 20-mph speed limit.

,”The speed limit is now 20 mph around schools, but [the amendment] would create a much-broader category, so the city can decide on slower speeds when it is in public interest to do so,” Livingstone said, adding that traffic lights would be timed accordingly in these safety zones.

Livingstone said he believes lowering speed limits to 30 mph elsewhere would improve safety on city streets throughout the area, particularly on Beacon Hill and in the Back Bay.

“This proposal came out of meetings with MassDOT, the City of Boston, the Metro Mayors Coalition, WalkBoston and Rep. Provost,” Livingstone added. “We hope the Senate takes it up shortly, so the city has this tool to make our streets safer.”

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