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


City Council Seal


PITTSBURGH, PA (February 22, 2022) — Pittsburgh City Councilman Bobby Wilson (District 1) passed 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.

Under 75 Pa.C.S. § 6109(a)(5), the City of Pittsburgh is empowered through its police powers to enact an ordinance that reduces the speed limit on roads within a public park to increase the safety of the citizens of Pittsburgh. Any action taken under this section of the Vehicle Code must be authorized by an ordinance of Pittsburgh City Council. Additionally, under 75 Pa.C.S. §§ 3362-3363, the City’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure has the authority to determine the maximum speed limit within a public park, upon the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation, if it determines that the new speed limit is reasonable and safe under the conditions found to exist upon park roads.

“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.

“We’re so lucky to have such an incredible park system in Pittsburgh,” said BikePGH Executive Director Scott Bricker, “and a 15 M.P.H. speed limit within them will ensure that our parks are safe for everyone to use.”

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

Bo Back