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Statement from Councilwoman Thelda Williams: Citywide Lowering of Speed Limits is Bad Policy

“At 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, the Phoenix City Council may vote on a major policy plan, Vision Zero, which aims to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities to zero. While I strongly support finding ways to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety, I do not support a policy with a citywide blanket lowering of speed limits.

Arbitrarily lowering speed limits seems like an easy way to address traffic injuries and fatalities, but it’s not the smartest way. Some cities that have adopted the plan haven’t seen a significant decrease in roadway injuries and fatalities.

Lowering the speed limit, citywide, without data-driven strategies will increase congestion, may contribute to road rage, decrease air quality and dump resources into areas where the data does not support the need.

I believe that to achieve the goal of dramatically lowering or eliminating pedestrian and bicycle injuries and fatalities, our efforts should be focused on data; enforcement, such as ticketing speeders and jaywalkers; increasing public education and using resources effectively. No matter how much a vehicle is slowed, factors such as impairment, distracted driving, and distracted pedestrians are critical to everyone’s safety.

We need a real solution, using real data, understanding how to look at the problem and targeting our limited resources to address the issue. Your feedback is important, please contact your councilmember and let them know that this plan is a bad policy."

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