20 is Plenty

By Claire Roth
October 6, 2020
  • 20 is Plenty was approved for most neighborhood residential streets in Eugene on July 13, 2020; signs currently being installed on a rolling basis.
  • 20 is Plenty yard signs are available starting in late October; contact Claire Roth at claire@best-oregon.org for more information.

Speed is the number one contributor to life-changing injury or death on our streets. According to the National Safety Council, speed was a factor in 26% of all fatal crashes on the roadway in 2018. Governments across the nation are taking steps to lower speed limits where possible, and in turn lowering the amount of lost lives on our streets.

On July 13, 2020, the City of Eugene joined this movement when the Eugene City Council approved an ordinance that authorizes speed limit reductions from 25 mph to 20 mph on most neighborhood residential streets in Eugene. While the installation and location of these signs are being rolled out in a phased approach over the next year, BEST is excited to see what will be a step in the right direction for improved safety on residential streets. The neighborhoods that will see 20 is Plenty rollout first are as follows:

  • Bethel
  • Industrial Corridor
  • Trainsong
  • Churchill
  • Far West
  • Jefferson Westside
  • Downtown

Lowering speeds in Eugene is a direct result of the Vision Zero Action Plan, which was adopted on March 29, 2019. Vision Zero seeks to eliminate all traffic-related severe injuries and fatalities on our streets through education and behavior change on our streets, partnering across public agencies to identify and address weak points in transportation, implementation of safer infrastructure and engineering choices, and more. It is a strategy pushing for the idea that no loss of life or serious injury on Eugene’s transportation system is acceptable.

Though slower streets may seem like a hindrance to business, data has shown that slowed speeds improve economic prosperity where they are implemented. Widened streets and increased speeds have historically proved detrimental to local small businesses; in the rush of high-speed streets, businesses are passed up by drivers. Think about it: slow streets mean cars spend more time on the street where your business is, and that they have more time to notice your business and make the decision to stop in. Slowed streets are also a magnet for increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic, demographics that are usually dissuaded from high-speed areas but who can be brought in with more people-friendly speeds. On a lighter note, slower streets with pedestrian and bike-friendly infrastructure simply look more attractive, and tend to be where people want to spend their time and dollars. In many ways, the idea of a complete street, which can be defined as a street that meets the needs of everyone regardless of age, ability, how they choose to travel, and the ability to travel safely and conveniently, is the street of a successful and prosperous city.

Yard signs available

Interested in showing your support for the 20 is Plenty implementation in our city? The City of Eugene is partnering with BEST to help distribute “20 is Plenty” yard signs. We will have some available for pickup for those within the rollout list in late October. Email Claire Roth at claire@best-oregon.org if you or your organization is interested.

Thanks for reading, and remember: slow down!

Further reading

External links

See other posts concerning