My city’s speed limit in most areas is 25 miles per hour. Yet that law is rarely enforced. Drivers have the absurd notion that they have the right to race down a street at whatever speed they “feel” is safe; one that satisfies their need to relieve their personal stress levels.
People may say: Well, there is nothing dangerous about driving 30 or 35 miles an hour on our good city streets.
The speed limit is NOT set for the sake of driver safety; it is set for the sake of resident safety; to assure the peace and tranquility of neighborhoods. A neighborhood is created by and for people who want and deserve the tranquility of a peaceful neighborhood in which to live and raise families.
A car passing homes at 25 miles an hour makes limited noise; the driver can be aware of movement on the porches, sidewalks, and streets; at that speed a car can readily avoid hitting a cat, dog, or squirrel. A car that moves down a street at 30-50 miles an hour generates a threatening level of noise and a vibration that is hostile to peace, threatening to safety. Residents who have children must feel a pulse of fear, knowing how quickly a child can move into the street and how impossible it would be to stop that car.
What driving at high speed accomplishes is to create stress in every resident who hears the noise; creates danger for anyone outdoors at that time; and increases the potential for accidents. Invariably, it destroys neighborhood tranquility.
Every vehicle on a city street is a visitor, even an intruder, in the lives of people and their neighborhoods. Vehicles and their capacity for speed are not the first concern of a city’s speed limit. Of prime concern are residents and their quality of life.