May 16, 2024 - News

Cleveland seeking Lake Avenue speed limit reduction

A picture of a city street with a SPEED LIMIT 35 sign on the right-hand sidewalk.

Heading west on Lake Avenue. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

The City of Cleveland is hoping to follow in Lakewood's footsteps and lower the speed limit of a nearly two-mile stretch of Lake Avenue.

Why it matters: Even minor decreases in speed limits can have significant impacts on traffic safety.

  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found in a Seattle study last year that lowering speed limits by 5-10 miles per hour reduced by 20% the likelihood that a crash would cause injuries.
  • Cleveland officials say speed limit reduction aligns with broader policy goals, including the Vision Zero effort to eliminate traffic crashes that result in injury or death.

What's happening: This month, Lakewood obtained approval from the Ohio Department of Transportation to reduce the speed limit on Lake — which spans the length of the suburb — to 30 mph from 35 mph.

  • Cleveland officials are hoping for the same reduction between West 117th Street and Detroit Avenue.

What they're saying: Cleveland councilwoman Jenny Spencer, who represents the area, supports the idea.

  • "Residents on Lake Avenue have long advocated for a speed limit reduction, in acknowledgement of the residential character of this street and the variety of users who live and play here, including cyclists and families with young children," she said in a statement.

What's next: An ODOT decision is expected in the coming months.

Go deeper: Cleveland had 550 car crashes with cyclists and pedestrians in 2023

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