Madison cutting speed limits on 2 major roads this month

The City of Madison is slowing drivers down, continuing efforts to make the streets safer.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2022 at 9:18 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The City of Madison is slowing drivers down, continuing efforts to make the streets safer.

Starting next week, a stretch of John Nolen Dr. will see new speed limits set at 35 mph, down from 45 mph. This portion is between North Shore Dr. to Lakeside St.

Later this month, the speed limit on Mineral Point Rd. from Whitney Way to the Beltline will be reduced from 40 to 35 mph.

These projects are a part of the city’s efforts to make the streets safer. The mayor launched the Vision Zero initiative in 2020, with a goal to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries on roadways, bikeways and sidewalks by 2030.

“Even 5 mph does make a difference in the outcome of a crash. It may not eliminate the crash, but it may take that serious or fatal crash and turn it into a more minor injury crash that people walk away from, their lives are not completely changed because of that crash,” the city’s pedestrian bicycle administrator Renee Callaway said.

Crashes in the current 45 mph zone of John Nolen Dr. have been “more serious,” she said.

In 2020, city officials lowered the speed limit on parts of East Washington Ave. Since then, Callaway said the number of high speed drivers on the road has decreased.

“People who are driving over 40 mph on streets that are 30 or 25, that has reduced,” she said.

Callaway also admits, some drivers say reduced speeds can feel “‘too slow,’” but the city has made other changes to encourage slower speeds, like retiming stoplights. Callaway explained, when drivers go at appropriate speeds, they’ll reach green lights instead of red ones.

According to a report for the city’s transportation commission, the first half of this year (until June 7) saw 19 fewer fatal or serious crashes than the same time last year.

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