The default speed limit on City of Boston streets will be reduced from 30 miles per hour (mph) to 25 mph effective on Monday, January 9, 2017. If no sign is posted, 25 mph is the maximum speed limit on that street. Drivers are advised to watch for posted signs that indicate a modification to the speed limit, such as in School Zones where the speed limit may be lower than 25 mph. State owned roadways in the City of Boston will not be affected by this new law.
“Reducing the default speed limit will create safer roads for all, and I’m pleased our hard work and commitment to safer roads has created this new standard,” said Mayor Walsh.”This is an important milestone for Vision Zero, the City’s commitment to bringing the number of traffic-related deaths to zero. With our new 25 mph speed limit, we are one step closer to achieving our goal.”
“No one wants to be involved in a serious traffic crash and slowing down vehicles can help to keep us all safe from harm,” said Boston Transportation Commissioner Gina N. Fiandaca. “People who drive, walk and ride a bike in Boston are all asked to be aware of others sharing the roadway and to travel on our streets with caution.”
The speed limit is being reduced from 30 mph to improve safety for all users of Boston’s roadways. Studies show that the likelihood of a pedestrian suffering a fatal injury as a result of being struck by a motor vehicle decreases from 20 percent when the vehicle is traveling at 30 mph, to 12 percent when the vehicle is traveling at 25 mph. Slower speeds make it easier for drivers to stop when necessary. It also increases a driver’s field of vision making it more likely for the driver to see a pedestrian in the roadway.
The City of Boston is committed to providing local streets that are functional and safe for all users. New bicycle infrastructure, leading pedestrian intervals programmed into traffic signal timing, prominent pavement markings, speed radar boards, curb extensions, yield to pedestrian signs, and other traffic safety tools are all being used to meet this goal.
Reducing the default speed limit to 25 mph will help to keep resident and visitors from being involved in serious crashes in the City. Boston drivers are asked to travel responsibly and voluntarily comply with the speed limit to preserve the safety of Boston’s residents, daily commuters and visitors.
The implementation of the reduced default speed limit in Boston is a key accomplishment of the City of Boston’s Vision Zero agenda aimed at eliminating fatal and serious crashes in Boston by 2030. More information on Vision Zero may be found at www.visionzeroboston.org.
For more information on the 25 mph default speed limit and to download informational material in a variety of languages, please visit www.boston.gov/departments/transportation/25-boston.