Carolina Curious: How Are Speed Limits Determined In Winston-Salem?

Carolina Curious: How Are Speed Limits Determined In Winston-Salem?

8:16am Nov 27, 2019
(AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)

Winston Salem City council recently approved speed limit reductions on nine area streets. Resident Laura Laxton would have liked to see her street on that list too. She told Carolina Curious:

"The road I live on is marked 35, which seems way too fast for such a residential neighborhood. And I just wondered how who decides what the speed limit is and do they ever revisit that?"

The short answer is, yes, speed limits can be revisited.  But the city depends on citizens to get the ball rolling. 

By law, all speed limits on city-owned streets are set at 35 miles per hour. Assistant City Manager Damon Dequenne says if residents think that’s too fast for their street, they should pick up the phone. 

"It's a citizen-driven process. Starts by calling 311," he says. "We come out and evaluate it, send it to the right people. And if it's a fit, we bring it to the council, it gets approved and we change our speed limit."

Dequenne says if a city traffic analysis reveals the 35-mile per hour speed limit is too fast, they’ll propose reducing it to 25. The whole process typically takes about 60 days.  

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