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Ordinance Will Change City Speed Limits to 25 MPH

Bloomington City Council members last night approved an ordinance that will change all speed limits on residential city streets to 25 miles per hour.

876 speed limit signs are now awaiting replacement as the city makes a push to decrease the number of drivers flying through residential neighborhoods. Landscaper Gary Rootz has witnessed countless speeders and says the change would make his job safer.

“Generally I think it helps the whole neighborhood for people to go a little bit slower,” he said.

INDOT is now requiring cities to replace all their street signs with new, more reflective signs by 2015, so Bloomington is taking that opportunity to include the speed limit changes. Replacing all the signs in Bloomington will cost somewhere between $800 and $900 thousands. $180 thousand will come from grants, and $20 thousand through a local match. The remaining $600 thousand will come from city funds.

“We thought just a city wide, local street initiative at 25 would definitely send a message to the community that we’re serious about pedestrian safety throughout the community,” said Susie Johnson, director of Bloomington Public Works.

The city will complete the process by zone. The first zone replaces 250 speed limit signs and covers the majority of the downtown, campus area and will move outward.

But first, the city placed 25 mile an hour signs in one southeast neighborhood to see if people would actually slow down.

“The results were that there was a fairly insignificant change, so its going to need to be coupled with some enforcement, to get folks to really change how they drive through these neighborhoods,” Johnson said.

Over the next 12 to 24 months the city will conduct analysis on busier streets for additional speed limit reductions.

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