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Denver city council votes to lower residential speed limits from 25 to 20

If the mayor signs the measure into law, Denver's default speed limit will be 20 mph.

DENVER — Denver City Council voted Monday night to reduce residential speed limits from 25 mph to 20 mph, in an 11-1 vote. 

The proposal is part of Denver's Vision Zero Project, which was introduced in 2016 to eliminate traffic deaths by 2030. Numbers have not gone down in the project's five years of existence.

So far this year, Denver has recorded 80 traffic deaths.

The one no vote came from councilmember Kendra Black, who believes the $1.5 million it will cost to replace existing signs would be better spent on the arterial roads where the most traffic fatalities occur. 

But councilmember Paul Kashmann, the bill's sponsor, said people need to slow down everywhere. 

"We need to slow down," he said. "This is not being done as a feel good measure. It's an important beginning to changing the culture that we need to slow down."

The change would apply to roads without a center line or stripe. 

Not only will the city replace the existing speed limit signs, but they will relocate them to more logical locations, like where drivers leave a busy street and turn on to a residential one. 

Jill Locantore, Executive Director of Denver Streets Partnership, said this isn't a "silver bullet," but it will help.

“We need to increase the resources overall for addressing this public health crisis on our streets, and we need to use every tool available to us," she said. 

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