DOWNEY – If the 20 Is Plenty slow-driving program goes forward, it will likely be a public information campaign that asks drivers to slow down voluntarily.
The city’s Green Task Force on Tuesday recommended that the city create a public information campaign to convince motorists to ease off the gas pedal in residential areas.
Popular in Europe, the program reduces the speed limit to 20 mph in residential neighborhoods. Data from the programs show that drivers who travel about 20 mph are far less likely to crash into pedestrians or other cars. Most residential neighborhoods in the state have a speed limit of 25 mph.
The city’s staff looked into the possibility of lowering the speed limit to 20 mph on neighborhood streets, but engineers determined that state law would make it almost impossible to justify the changes.
And the implementation of the program would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a report from the Ed Norris, a traffic engineer for the city.
Now the Green Task Force is exploring the possibility of creating a voluntary program with signs saying something like: “The speed limit’s 25, but 20 is plenty.” Other U.S. cities have experimented with voluntary programs.
The effort might also include bumper stickers or other signs near schools or residential areas, said Green Task Force member Steve Perez, who came up with the idea.
The task force is an advisory body to the City Council, and all recommendations made by the task force would have to be approved by the City Council.