Section 110-434; Policy Res. 182-09; Establishing a policy on setting speed limits on residential streets in the City of Columbia


Council Bill No. PR 182-09

     A POLICY RESOLUTION

establishing a policy on setting speed limits on residential streets in the City of Columbia.

    WHEREAS, the Public Works Department studies speed limits and recommends speed limit ordinance changes to City Council on streets in the City of Columbia; and

    WHEREAS, speed limits are set in Section 14-223 of the City Code and signed accordingly; and
    
    WHEREAS, a consistent method of setting speed limits and placing signs will minimize speed and traffic on low volume residential streets and facilitate the safest possible traffic movement on collector and arterial streets; and

    WHEREAS, inconsistent and artificially low speed limits on collector and arterial streets encourage high speed and cut-through traffic on residential streets.

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF COLUMBIA, MISSOURI, AS FOLLOWS:

    SECTION 1.    For the purpose of establishing speed limits, residential streets are defined as:

    1.    Streets with only residential dwellings accessing the road;

    2.    Streets with average daily traffic volumes less than 2,000; and

3.    Streets that are not included as collectors or arterials in the Columbia Area Transportation Study Organization (CATSO) Roadway Plan.  

    SECTION 2.    Speed limits on residential streets should be 25 miles per hour.  If fifty percent (50%) of the residents on a street petition the City for a speed limit higher than 25 miles per hour, the City Council will consider raising the speed limit as high as the 85 th percentile.

    SECTION 3.  All streets that have a speed limit higher than 25 miles per hour should have publicly funded speed limit signs.

    SECTION 4.  Residential streets with more than 1,000 vehicles per day should have at least one publicly funded enlarged speed limit sign with a yellow border.  The sign will be placed to allow motorists to view the sign while entering a neighborhood.  The border may have a message such as, “KID FRIENDLY” or, “SET THE PACE”.

    SECTION 5.  Residential streets with more than 500 vehicles per day, but less than 1,000 vehicles per day, should have at least one publicly funded speed limit sign. Additional speed limit signs or enlarged speed limit signs with a yellow border may be installed by the Public Works Department if residents on the street are willing to reimburse the City for the cost of additional or upgraded signs.

    SECTION 6.  Residential streets with less than 500 vehicles will not have publicly funded speed limit signs (the speed limit on all residential streets is 25 miles per hour unless posted otherwise).  Speed limit signs or enlarged speed limit signs with a yellow border may be installed by the Public Works Department if residents on the street are willing to reimburse the City for the cost of the signs.

    SECTION 7.  Streets with more than 2,000 vehicles per day should have speed limits based on an engineering study.  A main component of an engineering speed study is the 85 th percentile speed.  Studies have documented that on major roadways, collisions are minimized when speed limits are set at the 85th percentile speed.  Studies have also shown that artificially low speed limits cause motorists to leave major roadways and cut-through on residential streets.  The posted speed limit should be in increments of 5 miles per hour. The speed limit may be 25 percent (25%) lower than the 85th percentile speed if residential driveways require motorists to back into the roadway.

    ADOPTED this 17th day of August, 2009.