This press release popped up in my email last week, and I became curious about the potential benefits for Lake City pedestrian access.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — April 17, 2013
Senate passes Safe Streets bill
OLYMPIA — A bill to improve safety on Washington streets passed the Washington State Senate by a 45-2 vote today.
HB 1045 would cut the red tape for cities seeking to lower speed limits on neighborhood streets, saving money – and, more importantly, lives.
“All of the research is clear – a pedestrian’s chance of surviving an accident increases greatly as the speed of the car decreases,” said Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle. “Communities should be able to stand up and say that they want safer streets for their kids and their families.”
Frockt was a co-sponsor of the companion bill to HB 1045 in the Senate. HB 1045 passed the House on a bipartisan 86-10 vote.
The bill would not directly change any speed limits but would allow cities and towns to lower speed limits on side streets – not major commercial streets or highways – without the need for costly engineering studies. Right now, cities and counties must pay for an engineering report to raise or lower a speed limit. An engineering report would still be required to raise a speed limit, to ensure that the road could handle the higher speed. Since a road can always handle a lower speed, the engineering report would no longer be necessary to lower a speed limit. The reduction in red tape and expenses for local governments would improve local control over speed limits and increase governmental efficiency.
Studies show that a person struck by a car going 30 miles per hour has a 40 percent chance of dying. When the speed of the car drops to 20 mph, the pedestrian’s likelihood of dying drops to just 5 percent.
“This bill will save money and save lives,” said Frockt. “Safe and walkable streets are important for a livable neighborhood. With the passage of this bill, cities and towns across the state will have more flexibility to help keep people safe.”
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For interviews: Sen. David Frockt, 360-786-7690
For more information: Alex Bond, 360-786-7853
A quick email check-in with Lake City Greenways, “Greenways are designed to calm auto traffic to 20 mph, and being able to post that speed on GWs in addition to trying to engineer it would be great. Also a street like 32nd in Little Brook which is not suitable for a greenway (too much volume, many disabled) might benefit by posting a 20 mph limit.”
Thank you Senator Frockt for supporting this bill!
– Lisa Chan is a consummate pedestrian and Lake City resident, who is looking forward to and working towards cleaner and safer walking routes in around our area.