New Speed Limit on Eastie Streets

By John Lynds

One of the biggest complaints at the various community group meetings each month is speeding. Residents have long had a gripe with motorists barreling down Eastie’s main thoroughfares such as Bennington and Saratoga Streets traveling well above the speed limit.

Last week the City Council approved Mayor Martin Walsh and Transportation Commissioner Gina Fiandaca’s request to lower the default speed limit in Boston from 30 mph to 25 mph.

“Reducing the default speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph helps make the city safer for people of all ages and abilities who are walking, driving, and bicycling on our streets,” said Walsh in a statement. “The new, lower speed limit is an early accomplishment for Vision Zero, Mayor Walsh’s commitment to end traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. “

Walsh and Fiandaca both pointed to data that shows when a car is operated at or below 25 mph, the driver is less likely to be severely injured or killed in a traffic crash.

The reduction in the speed limit does not apply to state roads or highways in within the city limits but will apply to numerous side streets in the community.

Just last month, members of the Orient Heights Neighborhood Council and residents in the Harbor View neighborhood complained that during the morning and afternoon commute, motorists use side streets at unsafe speeds to bypass gridlock on Eastie’s main streets.

“This new measure will begin to address some of the problems we have been having with speeding in the neighborhood,” said LaMattina. “We need to start sharing the road with bicyclists and pedestrians and traveling at a safe enough speed as to not cause serious harm to ourselves or anyone else.”

The new speed limit will go into effect on January 9, 2017.

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