The city of Aspen, Colorado is considering posting a speed limit of a very slow, very specific 14 m.p.h. on certain residential streets. The change is to curb speeders from using the neighborhood streets as a way to avoid congestion on the highway. Studies, however, show there is no speeding problem.
Why 14 m.p.h.?
The unique number was decided upon because its very uniqueness will hopefully draw the attention of motorists who may be traveling too rapidly. Originally, according to the Aspen Times, Mayor Mick Ireland proposed an 18 m.p.h. limit to the Aspen City Council. But after some debate, it was decided to settle on the 14 m.p.h. limit instead.
The new speed limit is being suggested only for some streets in the city’s West End, where the posted speed is currently 25 m.p.h. Residents in the area say motorists are speeding down their streets during heavy traffic times to skirt congestion on nearby Highway 82. According to Torque News, however, a speeding review found there was not a significant speeding problem in the area.
A persistent problem, residents say
Still, the neighbors insist there is a problem, and the city is responding.
“They still say, ‘We don’t care what this shows; they’re still going to fast, in our view.’ That’s what the community has told us,” said Aspen city engineer Trish Aragon.
Apparently the problem is not a new one. In previous years the city has tried many methods of curbing speeders in the district. Bollards, those plastic posts that are used divide or redirect traffic, were added down the middle of some streets. In addition, the city made a free bus service available in the West End, and has increased the presence of law enforcement. New stop signs have also been put up.
The cost of slowing down
So whether there is a speeding problem or not, the city of Aspen is taking residents’ complaints seriously enough to continue pumping money into finding a solution. The new move, if implemented, will not be overly costly, however. According to Torque News, Aragon estimated the cost of 60 new speed limit signs at about $27,000.
Speeding is a problem to be taken seriously. A recent report from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety found that about a third of all traffic fatalities in 2010 involved drivers traveling over the posted speed limit.
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