The Traffic Commission is scheduled to take up this proposal at their next meeting, on Wednesday, March 15, at 5:30 p.m. The following is the letter I am submitting to them today.
Tonight I ask for your support to set the speed limit in the City of Melrose at 25 mph unless a lower speed limit is posted. The ability to change speed limits comes from the Municipal Modernization Act signed by Governor Baker in November 2016 and passed with the support of Senator Lewis and Representative Brodeur.
Research has shown that even at the relatively slow speeds that people drive in cities, 20-40 mph, reducing average speeds by even 1 or 2 mph results in a drop in the number of deaths and serious injuries of pedestrians and cyclists who are struck by cars.
It is my great hope that this change, coupled with strong enforcement, will reduce serious injuries, save lives, and make Melrose a safer place to live. Thousands of people in Melrose commute on foot, walk to school or public transportation, or bike to their destinations. We have made it a priority to make infrastructure changes to keep them safe, and lowering speed limits is another crucial piece of this effort.
It’s time for Melrosians and those who drive in Melrose to slow down. Speeding has gotten out of control, and I would argue that traffic and speeding are the number one public safety concern in this community. Whether or not citizens will abide by this speed limit, we do not know, but with the focus of the Police Department on speeding enforcement, a strong educational campaign that we plan to roll out in 2017, and these speed limit changes, we are hopeful that people will take heed and drive more safely.
Cities across the Commonwealth are passing this legislation, from big cities such as Somerville, Boston, and Cambridge to smaller communities such as Beverly and Arlington. Now is the time to make a stand against speeding for the elderly, for children, for bicyclists, and for safe drivers. I ask your support to pass a citywide 25 mph speed limit.