Pittsburgh City Councilman Bobby Wilson Introduces Legislation to Lower Speed Limit on City Park Roads to 15 MPH

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PITTSBURGH, PA (February 8, 2022) — Pittsburgh City Councilman Bobby Wilson (District 1) introduced legislation this week to reduce the speed limit on City of Pittsburgh park roads to 15 miles per hour (MPH).

Many of the roads that go through our City’s parks lack sidewalks and are shared by both vehicles and pedestrians. The default speed limit on these roads is currently 25 MPH. This creates potentially unsafe conditions on park roads shared by cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians and discourages residents and visitors from enjoying our city’s beautiful parks.

Section 6109(a)(5) of Title 75 (Vehicle Code) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes specifically grants the City the authority, under its police powers, to reduce the speed limit for vehicles on park roads if it determines that the current speed limit is higher than what is reasonable and safe. Any action taken under this section of the Vehicle Code must be authorized by an ordinance of Pittsburgh City Council.

“The chance for a serious injury drops dramatically when the speed limit is 15 miles per hour. To sharpen the point, the average risk of a severe injury for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle is 50% at 31 miles per hour, but 10% at an impact speed of 16 miles per hour,” said Councilman Wilson. “Lowering this speed limit will most protect our most vulnerable park users, such as older Pittsburghers and children.” According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), a 70-year-old who gets hit by a car at 25 mph has about a 25% chance of losing their life. However, if the same person gets hit by a car traveling at 15 mph, their chance of death drops all the way down 5 percent.”

This change would only apply to roads within the City of Pittsburgh’s parks. The Director of the Department of Mobility & Infrastructure (DOMI) will be able to set the speed limit at a higher speed if necessary.

“This is a great first step to ensure that our parks are welcoming and safe for all users,” said Scott Bricker, Executive Director of Bike Pittsburgh. “This pandemic has really highlighted how important our parks system has been for keeping Pittsburghers healthy and active, and this change will help ensure public safety in our parks.”

For press inquiries, please contact Councilman Wilson’s Legislative Aide, Mohammed Burny, at (412) 215-0528 or mohammed.burny@pittsburghpa.gov.

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