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Public Works

Neighborhood Speed Limit Reduction

On January 18, 2020, Mayor John Cooper committed to a Vision Zero strategy to achieve zero deaths on Metro roadways.  Since then, Metro Public Works has been working on the Neighborhood Speed Limit Reduction initiative as an important early step in meeting the goals of Vision Zero.

Over the next few months, Nashville is changing many speed limit signs from 30 mph to 25 mph in order to set a new baseline for appropriate speeds in the city. Neighborhood speed is a leading quality-of-life issue and Nashville’s residents deserve safe streets that are comfortable for all users: pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

Metro Public Works has 181 neighborhoods in the queue for our Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program. The Neighborhood Speed Limit Reduction initiative would lower the speed limit on the vast majority of streets in neighborhoods that have applied. More investment will still be needed in the form of infrastructure but lowering the speed limit is an appropriate first step in neighborhoods that require calming.

What streets will this apply to?

Metro streets are classified as arterials, collectors, and locals. This change would only apply to local streets in the Urban Services District. A few local streets that already have speed limits less than 25 mph or that serve select non-residential areas will be exempt.

Residents can check the map below to see which streets will have the lower speed limit. If questions persist, contact hubNashville online or by calling 311.

Map of Speed Limit Reductions

Implementation and Cost

There are approximately 2,500 speed limit signs to replace. For maximum efficiency, we will follow the standing brush pick-up rotation and the signing change will be complete in 4-6 months. The sign replacement will cost approximately $85,000. Public Works achieved a major cost savings by using Metro’s existing field crews.

Enforcement

This effort is being led by the Public Works Department and the goal is to reestablish a new, lower baseline speed limit. While enforcement plays an important role in speed management overall, the department does not expect or intend for the Metro Nashville Police Department to increase enforcement activity as part of this initiative. Public Works anticipates future additional infrastructure projects to help reinforce the slower speed limit where needed, and all of Nashville’s residents can help promote compliance by being attentive to the new speed limit.

Additional Resources

Other cities have implemented a speed limit reduction initiative, and many are seeing positive impacts in their communities. Cities like Boston, Minneapolis, and Portland, Oregon have all recently lowered speed limits.