FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — An ordinance amendment to lower the default residential speed limit from 25 to 20 miles per hour will go into effect on November 6. The amendment was passed unanimously by the Fayetteville City Council on Oct. 5, 2021.
The ordinance amendment is intended to address community-wide concerns around neighborhood speeding and pedestrian safety. The University of Arkansas showed support for lowering speed limits following two pedestrian deaths on streets surrounding campus in recent years.
The amendment was also supported by recommendations from the National Association of City Transportation Officials, the City’s 2019 Mobility Plan and City Plan 2040, which establishes desired operating speeds of 15-20 MPH for most residential streets.
Research focused on pedestrian injuries and fatalities resulting from automobile collisions shows that the pedestrian mortality rate doubles when the speed of a car at time of impact is increased from 20 to 25 miles per hour.
The change to the default speed limit will affect all residential streets that do not have a posted speed limit. Streets that are currently signed for 25 MPH or higher will remain at the posted speed limit until signs are replaced or removed.
It is the policy of Fayetteville Police Department to provide a 30-day grace period following a reduction in speed limit before issuing citations for speed violations. Any increase in traffic patrol in residential areas will be complaint-driven. To report speeding in your neighborhood, call the Fayetteville Police Department’s non-emergency number: 479-587-3555.
Additional information about the 20 MPH speed limit, including links to relevant research, is available at fayetteville-ar.gov/20forlife.