CH speed-limit reductions add negligible travel time

I’m writing in response to Alan Rapaport’s opinion, in the January issue of the Heights Observer, regarding lowering speed limits.

Mr. Rapaport claims that lowering the speed limits on five roads will cause it to “take longer to get to shops, banks, restaurants, parks, libraries, churches, and schools,” and “will encourage drivers to seek faster shortcuts on side streets.”

After reading this, I decided to use Google Maps and some arithmetic to find out how much longer it will take.

From one border to the other, the lengths of Taylor Road, Lee Road, and Euclid Heights Boulevard are all about 2.7 miles. If one could drive all the way across the city without encountering stop lights or traffic problems, the trip would take 6.5 minutes at 25 mph, and 4.6 minutes at 35 mph.

Noble Road in Cleveland Heights only covers about 2.2 miles, so the trip at 25 mph would take 5 minutes; at 35 mph, 3.7 minutes.

In actual fact, the [35 mph] time savings for all of these routes is less than [the times stated above] because there already were 25 mph zones on parts of these streets.

If Mr. Rapoport is concerned about being late to his shop, bank, restaurant, park, library, church or school, he could leave just 1.5 minutes earlier. I don’t think the city needs to spend money on a study to find out that lowering the speed limit makes the streets safer for cars, pedestrians, and bicycles.

For myself, I no longer have to be vigilant about which sections of these roads have 25 mph limits.

Mark Binnig

Mark Binnig has been a resident of Cleveland Heights for more than 40 years.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 11:53 AM, 01.31.2023