House Bill: Lower Speed Limit and Add Stop Signs
Currently, to lower the speed limit on the street in front of your house requires an act of legislation in the Ohio Legislature. There is a bill in the Ohio House, known as HB436, that would change that. The bill, if passed will:
- Authorize a person who resides on a street with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less, or a recognized neighborhood organization that represents an area that includes such a street, to submit a petition to the Director of the Ohio Department of Transportation supporting a request made by a local authority for a lower speed limit. Requires the petition to contain the signatures of at least 51% of the people who own property located on the portion of the street at issue.
- Permits any of the following to submit a petition to the Director of the Ohio Department of Transportation or the proper local authority requesting that a stop sign be erected at an intersection where a stop sign currently is not present:
- A person who resides within a one-quarter mile radius of the intersection if the intersection is within a municipal corporation;
- A person who resides within a one-half mile radius of the intersection if the intersection is not within a municipal corporation; or
- A recognized neighborhood association or organization that represents the area within which the intersection is located.
- Requires the petition to contain the signatures of at least 51% of the persons who own real property within a quarter mile radius of the intersection located within a municipal corporation, or a half mile radius of an intersection located outside a municipal corporation.
In short, HB436 would allow communities to go through an application process to either have a stop sign erected or, to lower a speed limit where they feel the speeds are too fast.
Similar bills have passed in New York, Washington, and Massachusetts where the cities now have the authority to lower default speed limits due to speed fatalities. California and Washington D.C. are currently in progress.
This bill is in line with the National Transportation Safety Review Board who recently published a report on the causes of crashes and who have been outspoken on the dangers of speeding, even going as far as pushing for the reform of the 85th percentile speed rule (the speed at which 85% of the vehicles are traveling at that speed or lower), which is how many speed limits are determined but does not account for safety, especially of bicyclists and pedestrians. The NTSB study here: https://www.ntsb.gov/news/press-releases/Pages/PR20170725b.aspx
We will keep you updated on HB436 on our website and in our enewsletter. Stay tuned.