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It is 20 is Plenty. Three options before council:

Staff recommendation: Pilot project on 20-30 streets that applied for Neighborhood Speed Management projects, study other communities, study of crash data, public process
$102,500 in 2020
+$60K to install new signs in 2021
Option 2: Lower limits immediately on all 25 mph streets + Welcome to Boulder signs right now
$65,000 cost total
Summer 2020 completion

TAB unanimously recommended this option.
Option 3: Pilot it on certain streets; do the big study later when $$ is available
$38,500 cost in 2020 for prelim work
Plus $60,000 to install signs in 2021 ($98,500 total)
Here's the staff presentation link:…
Why is this important? asks transportation staff member Ryan Noles.

Here's why: 9 of 10 pedestrians hit by cars going 20 mph will survive
At 30 mph, that drops to 5 of 10
At 40 mph, it's 1 of 10
Boulder wants residential streets to be viewed as "shared," Noles says. We want ppl to feel safe walking and biking in them.
Option 2 "is the quickest implementation" of 20 is Plenty, Noles says.
That's what TAB said, too: “While this is not staff's preferred option we believe that option 2 provides the greatest and most immediate benefit at the lowest cost," its chairs wrote in an email to council.
The arguments are basically that we don't need a study to prove that 20mph streets are safer: There's plenty of data on that already, in other cities.
Also the pedestrian death data in staff's own presentation. Pretty compelling when the survival rate goes from 50% to 90%.
We went over high-level costs, but here's a breakdown from the council packet:
Not a lot of opposition to this so far, Noles says, at least at the TAB meeting.
"It is unusual for TAB and staff to lock horns this seriously," says Tila Duhaime from TAB.
We have Vision Zero goals in Boulder, she says, to eliminate deaths and serious injuries from vehicles. 20 is Plenty is "one of the quick but high impact supporting efforts." It's in the Transportation Master Plan.
This step is "probably not going to directly drop the numbers" in the city, Duhaime says. "But going the way we have in the last 20 years, trouble shooting spot-to-spot, is not working."

We need wider change.
"We think you should proceed with 20 is Plenty ordinance change," she says. "That's what we wanted to get. This is a great time and an important time and a critical time" to act with haste.
"Boulder has continued to be a leader. We are falling behind by some respects. We probably will by pausing" and doing the study, rather than implementing it now, Duhaime says.
TAB would have made the same recommendation even if COVID wasn't happening, she says, but that's another reason. And it makes the perfect time since traffic is reduced and it can set a new expectation before drivers return.
Young q, then Duhaime responds. Just chaining the rules won't change behavior. That's the point of Vision Zero, is that you'll have to do a whole bunch of things.

20 is Plenty is one of those things.
She had a great analogy about a car stuck in a snowbank, but I'm drifting.
That was not a transportation pun. I am tired.
Yates q: You've mentioned several cities have already adopted this: Seattle, Portland, Cambridge, Mass.

What would we study if other cities have already implemented this? They have real-world experiences; do we think drivers are Dif in Boulder and we'd learn something new?
Noles: We don't think driver in Boulder are different.
Noles: Seattle did pilots and studied the outcomes b4 they implemented, just like we're suggesting.
The value of studying the effects of lower speed limits is that we can see the characteristics of those streets (Dif widths, more/fewer cars, density), he says. "It would be really useful to know where those things contribute to slower vehicle speeds."
"That could have big implications" for transportation practices and policies moving forward.
Yates: What did Seattle learn? Is that going to be different from what we learned?
Noles: I'd have to follow up. I know they have a citywide residential speed limit of 20mph, so I would assume what they learned is it's something residents wanted.
One thing he does know from Seattle: Streets that are 25 feet wide or less and lots of on-street parking, cars drove slower.
Yates: "Sounds like they saved us $100,000."
Swetlik asking about the new design signs, which say Vision Zero above the standard 20mph. Doesn't that add cost?
Suggests "high quality vinyl stickers" to cover the 5 in 25mph to a 0 (for 20mph)

Chuckles from Bill Cowern, transportation director. "Yes, we could do that, and it would be less expensive."
But... "they don't tend to look good that way."
AND the design of the 20mph Vision Zero sign "had a variety of things built into it."
I should really find a picture of this.
Here's one from the staff presentation:
Cowern arguing the orange border will draw attention. And it serves as education effort around Vision Zero.

"It will be worth that $$ if you believe this is something we should do."
No cost comparison in the council packet about how much regular signs would cost. Or vinyl stickers.
Wallach: What's the data on fatalities and crashes on Boulder residential streets?
Cowern: On local roadways, where this would be deployed, over 5 yrs we've seen one crash with a severe outcome (injury) as a result of speeding, alcohol and distraction.
When I looked at crash data, "I could not find any that would have been mitigated on these types of streets" in that five-year period.
That was Cowern, btw.
But we do have a problem with speeding, he says. And 20 is Plenty has benefits other than crash reduction. It would make ppl feel safer, he argues. "There is real value to that."
Weaver: How about total crashes?
"Any kind of crash is a bad outcome." Property damage, trauma, etc., Weaver says.
Cowern: "We certainly have property damage crashes that occur as a result of speeding."
Noles: 2 speed-related crashes out of 16 projects completed through Neighborhood Safe Streets
I think that needs more explanation, but I can't provide it bc I don't quite understand all of it.

"We're not seeing a ton of speed-related crashes on residential streets," is his takeaway.
Wallach: "Ppl who speed are not going to really fear the posting of a few signs. Ppl who are not respective of their neighborhoods... If those ppl are going to continue to speed, I'm just not sure how much benefit we're getting under the expenditure of any of these options."
Cowern: "We've never been successful" trying to change ppl's behavior with speed limit signs. But "ultimately you can get there .... It doesn't happen all at once. It happens over a long period of time and spending a lot of $$."
You won't change behavior with these signs, Cowern says, "but you will have set a different expectation."

Neighbors will want cars to go slower; they'll come to the city and request other speed mitigation efforts that have been shown to work.
"The path that this takes you on could potentially take you to that place where ppl are driving 20 mph, but it isn't going to come from posting speed limit signs."
It will come over "years" after we go out and build speed mitigation, Cowern says.
I've lost the thread of where we are now, but Duhaime is talking about neighborhoods in the speed management program, who've applied for slowing engineering.

"These are not neighborhood tests; the bulk of them are just a block or two."
Notes apparently disagrees...?
"Some of those streets are shorter in nature." BUT transportation is looking to study longer pieces of roadway.
omg how is it 10 p.m. already?
Cowern: Doing the pilot programs / study "is a bit of a proxy" for the public process, bc you're out there telling them what's going on and you hear from them.

But it does cost an awful lot, he says.
Young: Have cities who have done this seen downsides?
Noles: Not that I recall.
Cowern: There was one: In England. They "lamented spending their $$" bc it didn't lower speeds.
"People tend to publish things that have been done in their community that are positive," he says. "I can guarantee you we didn't publish anything after we changed lanes on Folsom."
Young: Would all these changes be from 25mph to 20? Or would some be 30 mph to 20?
Noles: The citywide speed limit is 25mph, unless otherwise posted. On bigger streets with higher limits, it would require study and coordination with CDOT, in some cases.
Cowern: This effort would change local, low-volume streets from 25mph to 20mph, but there is some work to be done on "equity" for streets with higher speed limits. That's on our work program as well.
A long story from Young on Alpine, where she lives.
Friend: If we went with Option 2, "pulled off the bandaid" and lowered the limits, could we maybe collect data later, as $$ is available, to improve things?
Yes, Cowern says.
Friend: Do we have ready data for speeding tickets when it comes to race? Generally that can be racially biased; I want us to implement 20 is Plenty "in a way that is not going to harm people."

What would our enforcement plans be?
Carey Weinheimer, interim police chief: We focus on higher-limit streets and places with more crashes. Red lights, etc. We don't spend very much time on residential streets.
Also, the plan is photo enforcement to issue warnings rather than tickets, at least at first. For ppl going 9mph over the limit or slower.
Higher will be tickets, apparently.
Young: Are enforcement costs included in these estimates we saw?

No, Cowern says: Not the costs or the revenue.
Weaver: We have good crash data, right?
Cowern: Yes.
Weaver: So if we make these changes, we're going to be running a big experiment. We'll have something to compare to.
"One of the side benefits of this is we'll be answering qs all these ppl have been asking. .... We can even say what's the ticketing rate beforehand and after." (Weaver again)
All this crash talk reminds me that it's been two weeks today since my parked car Roxie was demolished by a moving truck, and still no call from @Progressive. Maybe being tagged in a million city council tweets will speed things up.
I think we're moving into council discussion now.
Brockett wants to move forward with option 2: Change the limits and put up the signs.
"It sounds like the worst case is that speeds don't change a lot," he said. But it creates a change in thinking and, maybe eventually, behavior. "I think this is a time for us to build upon the successes of other jurisdictions."
Friend concurs: "It's lovely to have this up tonight. It's a great safety effort. ... I think it's a good time in our lives to have something we are mostly together on as a community and is safety at a time when a lot of us feel unsafe."
Wallach: "I'm happy to take a divergent viewpoint."
He'll support option 3: Do a pilot program now before lowering the limits citywide. "It's the cheapest cost in year 2020 in which we are in a financial crisis."
"Boulder tends to be a data-driven town, until it isn't," he says.
"I find it perplexing we'd jump into passing an ordinance with very little underlying data other than ppl seem to like it."
Friend: We have data from other cities.
Wallach: "You may well be correct, but on issue after issue, we are always pointing to the uniqueness of Boulder and its particular characteristics and Idk why this would be different."
Is there an eye roll emoji?
Swetlik supports moving forward now. "I would like to know where all those sad, lonely 25 mph signs go" after we take them down.
Yates wants to go ahead and make the change now. "It is the least expensive option." Let's take the $100,000 we're not spending on the study we're saving to use for education and enforcement.
"We've been talking about Vision Zero for a long, long time." Let's go ahead and do something about it.
Weaver also on board. Suggesting ways to lower the cost. We could just take the 25mph signs down and replace the ones we can afford with 20mph signs.

If there's no speed limit sign, the default speed limit is 20mph, just as it is now.
Young likes that idea.
"I do think we need our own local data," she says. So lower the speed limit TEMPORARILY but then have it expire and use data gathered in the meantime and either renew it or let it die.
Wants to do due diligence "just because I lived through Folsom."

Damn, council and staff were SHOOKETH by that.
Yates disagrees with her suggestion. "This is a one-way street. Once we go down this path, we should stick with it."
He said "no pun intended" but does anyone believe that?
This is the man who brought us the poem "Does Dense Make Sense?"
Yates: Is much of the cost of changing signs associated with labor?
Cowern: It is a bit. I wouldn't take the signs down and leave the posts up with no sign; we'd have to take those down as well.
"You would be surprised how fast we can do this," Cowern says.
Nagle agrees with Wallach "but I think the community has spoken" so she's OK with Option 2: Moving forward.
Joesph for Option 2 as well. That's where we're going: Boulder's speed limit will now be 20 mph, unless otherwise posted. Expect signs to pop up soon.
Well, not "now" now. Now when the ordinance is passed. Staff will return with that; council will vote in May.
"By mid-May, this should be a law I think." Weaver says.
Moving to online petitions next. New thread for that.
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