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No need to brake on speed limit ordinance
August 16, 2019

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Cape Coral City Council on Monday will revisit its codes relating to the regulation of speed limits for city streets.

There has been some confusion concerning the changes tendered by the city administration.

Proposed Ordinance 25-19 is primarily a housekeeping measure but officials say it comes with a benefit to residents who ask the city to look at speed limits on their street.

The amended portion of the ordinance states that the speed limit on streets classified as "local" shall not exceed 30 mph. It also provides that the city manager shall be able to set speed limits not to exceed 60 mph on classified as "collector" or "arterial" roadways.

The speed limits on city streets are already set at 30 mph unless otherwise designated. The ordinance will not change that.

The city manager already has authority to set speed limits based on studies and Florida Department of Transportation criteria. The current city manager typically comes to Council if a change would impact a neighborhood. The ordinance will not change that.

What the ordinance will do, according to city officials, is "protect citizens and traffic engineers" when a traffic speed study is requested by residents and the findings do not support the hoped-for outcome.

Oftentimes, residents will request such a study because they believe the 30 mph speed is simply too fast for their residential street.

The road is being used as a bypass for a major roadway, those residents will tell the city. There are no sidewalks. It's difficult to back out of the driveway given the amount of traffic. There is a heavy number of children walking to or from a bus stop or school.

But instead of the study coming back to indicate a lower speed of, say, 25 mph, which residents believe would be safer, the analysis actually comes back stating the speed limit should be higher because of other traffic conditions such as nearby commercial or even light industrial businesses.

The city typically leaves the limit as is, but would prefer to have an ordinance in place that would codify its decision in the face of a report stating otherwise.

Makes sense to us.

We see no need to hit the brakes on this one.

- Breeze editorial

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