Activists want SLC residential speed limits to be lowered to 20 MPH

May 26, 2021, 6:23 PM | Updated: 8:26 pm
Residential Speed Limits...
(Photo Credit: Canva)
(Photo Credit: Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY – An activist group wants all of Salt Lake City’s residential streets to have default speed limits of 20 miles per hour.

According to the city, “The speed limit on all residential streets in the Unincorporated County is 25 mph unless otherwise posted.”

Campaign to lower residential speed limits


The co-founder of the group Street Sweets, Myron Willson, believes reducing the speed will help protect people.

“When speed gets above 20 miles per hour then people are much more vulnerable to serious injury and death,” Willson told KSL NewsRadio. 

They’re hoping the city will flip the switch on the residential speed limits, and look long term at slowing down the city’s streets.

“Administratively they have the power to do that, we think this is a little bit of a political issue so it may need city council or mayoral support,” Willson said. “We’re trying to provide advocacy to help make that decision.”

Willson also said he recognized this might be a long-term goal. He said the group also wants the city to make it a priority to rebuild streets with not just cars in mind. 

“Whenever they do redesigns of streets, make them so it encourages people to slow down,” he said.

Can the city just lower the speed limits?

According to Salt Lake City’s Director of Transportation, Jon Larsen, he does technically have the power to change speed limits on individual streets. But to do a city-wide change he would need to change the city ordinance, and that approval would need to come from the City Council.

But Larsen said he supports slowing traffic down.

“I think anything to slow people down in our neighborhoods is a good thing because it’s a major quality of life thing,” Larsen said. “It’s a conversation worth having. And let’s see where it goes,” he said.

Larsen, also thinks changing the ordinance would send an important message from the city, however, he’s not convinced lowering the speed alone would actually slow people down.

“Just changing the speed limit doesn’t actually do that much as far as changing behavior,” he said.

“For it to really have the impact we want it needs to be coupled with a program that actually would go through and systematically change – you know, retrofit the design of the street in order to encourage people to slow down,” Larsen explained.   

Larsen said the City Council has made it clear they see this as an important issue. But he said the question is what is the right approach. Namely, he mentioned staff and funding as an issue.

He said a proposed traffic-calming plan is set to be presented to the City Council in July, with a potential name of ‘Livable Streets’.

“All I can promise at this point is that we’ll have the conversation and see where it goes,” he said.

According to Larsen, the city is also working on updating its master transportation plan which he said will take years before it’s complete.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


FILE - This Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, file photo shows application icons from left, Facebook, Facebook...

Surgeon General says 13 is ‘too early’ to join social media

(CNN) — U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy says he believes 13 is too young for children to be on social media platforms because although sites allow children of that age to join, kids are still “developing their identity.” Meta, Twitter, and a host of other social media giants currently allow 13-year-olds to join their platforms. […]
2 days ago
January 28 at Uta's Hogle Zoo is its Cats and Cocoa event, where families can learn more about the ...
Waverly Golden

Utah’s Hogle Zoo “Cats and Cocoa” event

January 28 at Uta's Hogle Zoo is its Cats and Cocoa event, where families can learn more about the endangered cats of the zoo.
5 days ago
A bill that would encourage Utah communities to bump Halloween festivities — like trick-or-treati...
Logan Stefanich

Utah resolution proposing Friday designation for Halloween celebrations advances

While the bill wouldn't change the date of Halloween itself, it would recognize a designated day for Halloween celebrations.
6 days ago
The bill, S.B. 117 Domestic Violence Amendments, would streamline domestic violence reports, placin...
Hugo Rikard-Bell

Domestic violence bill moves to full Utah Senate for vote

S.B. 117 streamlines domestic violence reports, placing them all into one database. Then, Police can access this information before heading to a scene of reported domestic violence.
7 days ago
The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Monday plans to r...
Mark Jones

Church announces Anchorage Alaska Temple reconstruction

Reconstruction of the Anchorage Alaska Temple was announced Monday by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
9 days ago
This July 20, 1969 photo made available by NASA shows pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin in the Apollo 11 Lu...
Raja Razek and Zoe Sottile, CNN

Retired astronaut Buzz Aldrin marries ‘longtime love’ on his 93rd birthday

Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the second person to ever set foot on the moon in 1969, married his "longtime love" on his 93rd birthday on Friday.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Activists want SLC residential speed limits to be lowered to 20 MPH