Mar. 15 – Traffic Commission Meeting

The Traffic Commission will meeting Mar. 15, 2017, at 5:30 pm.

The citizen-led Melrose Pedestrian and Bicyclist Advisory Committee will be urging the Melrose Traffic Commission to act on the opportunity to reduce speed limits in Melrose, where applicable, to 25 miles per hour with the public statement reprinted below.

Research clearly shows a substantial drop-off in crash risk and pedestrian injury and fatality risk when vehicle speeds are lowered below 30 mph. We are therefore supportive of any measure that contributes to that goal, however incrementally.

As Mayor Dolan suggested in his letter to the Traffic Commission, we hope and expect that this reduction in speed limits will support police efforts to issue greater numbers of citations for speeding, and set the stage for more comprehensive road design initiative with new traffic calming and better pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure.

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Public Statement to the Melrose Traffic Commission

The Melrose Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee strongly urges the Traffic Commission of the City of Melrose to immediately implement a speed limit of 25 miles per hour on all roads not requiring state approval, unless a lower speed limit is already posted.

Reducing the speed limit, consistent traffic law enforcement and smart road design are a proven combination that can result in more modern, safer streets that are easier to walk, ride, and drive. Reducing vehicle speeds will improve the lives of all residents of Melrose but will especially protect children, the elderly and the disabled, who are more often seriously injured by vehicle impacts.

Specifically, reducing vehicle speed below 30 miles per hour significantly lowers the risk of vehicle collisions that cause pedestrian injuries and fatalities and property damage. The effects of this seemingly small reduction can be dramatic: A vehicle traveling at 30-35 miles per hour has more than a three and a half times greater likelihood of crashing than a vehicle traveling 20-25 miles per hour, and is nine times more likely to cause a pedestrian fatality when collision occurs.

Lowering the speed limit in Melrose can be the first step to a better Melrose. It can create new opportunities to improve and redesign our roads in ways that encourage calm and predictable traffic, provide greater opportunities for traffic law enforcement, and allow all Melrose residents to safely enjoy one of the best cities Greater Boston has to offer.

Sincerely,

The members of the Melrose Pedestrian and Bicyclist Advisory Committee

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