Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Streetsblog USA

Nashville Bill Would Lower Residential Speed Limits

Photo: Walk Bike Nashville

The dangerous streets of Nashville may soon become safer thanks to a new measure to reduce speed limits.

Nashville-Davidson County's Metro Council is considering a bill to limit drivers to 25 miles per hour from the current 30 mph default speed limit.

The move comes after, 23 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed in the combined city-county municipality, which sprawls across 526 square miles.

"We know speeds are the largest contributing factor to the number of crashes and the severity of crashes," Nora Kern, the director of Walk Bike Nashville, told Streetsblog. "As we’ve seen a rising number of crashes in Nashville we need urgent action to address the issue."

The legislation, introduced yesterday, is vague, but it instructs the Traffic and Parking Commission to conduct a study determining the appropriate speed. It follows a pilot experiment with lowered speed limits to 20 mph in three neighborhoods.

A study by the Traffic and Parking Commission found the pilots were effective in lowering average speed, on average between 1 and 4 mph. Following the studies, the commission recommended residential speed limits be lowered to 25 miles per hour citywide.

Kern says she expects the legislation to pass. Next up, her group will push for the safety initiative to expand to include a 30-mile-per-hour limit on arterial streets and for traffic calming measures — such as speed humps or curb bump outs — to be added.

Speed limits have been dropping in recent years in cities such as New York, Boston and Portland, where the changes required state approval. A study out of Boston found reduced speed limits, in themselves, lowered average speeds even without any changes to the streets.

A pedestrian struck by a car traveling 40 miles per hour has a 55 percent chance of survival. But a pedestrian struck at 20 miles per hour will survive 93 percent of the time.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Incomplete Streets Part 2: in OC Caltrans Ignores Caltrans Policy on Bike and Pedestrian Needs

Caltrans has a policy requiring Complete Streets in its projects, but Caltrans Districts routinely ignore it

July 24, 2024

Supervisor Hahn and Councilmember Ricks-Oddie: “Pull the Plug” on Metro/Caltrans 91 Freeway Expansion in Long Beach

Supervisor Janice Hahn: “I think it’s pretty clear that we’re going to need to pull the plug" on planned mile-long $174 million 91 Freeway project

July 23, 2024

L.A. Street Vendors Celebrate Removal of No-Vending Restrictions in Huge Win Against City

The victory is the product of a decade-plus-long battle to legalize sidewalk vending on our city streets

July 23, 2024
See all posts