Request your free ’20 is Plenty’ yard sign

By Rob Zako
December 2, 2020

UPDATE 1/10/2021: BEST, like the City of Eugene, is now out of yard signs. But you might know a neighbor who has an extra one.

  • To promote safe streets, request your free “20 is Plenty” yard sign to pick up.
  • On July 13, 2020, the Eugene City Council authorized reducing speed limits on most residential—but not major—streets from 25 to 20 mph.
  • Lowering speeds significantly reduces the risk of injury or death, especially for people walking and bicycling and other vulnerable roadway users.

20 mph residential speed limits

With passage of Senate Bill 558 in the 2019 legislative session, changes to Oregon Revised Statute 810.180 gave cities across Oregon the authority to designate speed limits 5 miles per hour lower than statutory speed limits on non-arterial streets in “residence districts.” This provides the City of Eugene with an exciting opportunity to promote safer conditions for people walking, biking, using a mobility device, riding the bus, and driving.

On July 13, 2020, 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.

The speed limit changes are being publicized through a “20 is Plenty” community outreach campaign to help inform the community of the speed limit change and provide information on the relationship between speed and transportation safety. (Source: City of Eugene)

Why 20 mph?

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.

Reducing vehicle speeds is an important component of the City’s adopted Vision Zero Action Plan, which aims to eliminate serious injuries and deaths by 2035. 

Lower speed limits on residential streets support safer travel conditions for everyone using the street, as well as provide a more comfortable environment for people walking and biking.

Crash studies have documented that risk of injury and death during a collision decreases significantly between 25 mph and 20 mph. This is particularly true for vulnerable roadway users, such as people walking and biking. 

(Source: City of Eugene)

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.

Further reading

External links

See other posts concerning