On July 13, 2020, the Eugene City Council approved an ordinance that authorizes speed limit reductions from 25 MPH to 20 MPH on most neighborhood residential streets in Eugene.
With passage of Senate Bill 558 in the 2019 legislative session, changes to Oregon Revised Statute 810.180 gave cities across Oregon the authority to designate speed limits 5 miles per hour lower than statutory speed limits on non-arterial streets in “residence districts.” This provides the City with an exciting opportunity to promote safer conditions for people walking, biking, using a mobility device, riding the bus, and driving.
Reducing vehicle speeds is an important component of the City’s adopted Vision Zero Action Plan, which aims to eliminate major traffic injuries and fatalities within Eugene by 2035.
Crash studies have documented that risk of injury and death during a collision decreases significantly between 25 MPH and 20 MPH. This is particularly true for vulnerable roadway users, such as people walking and biking. Lower speed limits on residential streets support safer travel conditions for everyone using the street, as well as provide a more comfortable environment for people walking and biking.
Speed limit signs will be replaced in neighborhoods through a phased approach over the next year. The new 20 MPH speed limits legally go into effect on each street when the existing speed limit signs are replaced. The speed limit changes will be accompanied by a robust “20 is Plenty” community outreach campaign to help inform people of the change and provide information on the relationship between speed and transportation safety.