Remember last year's pedestrian-and-bike-friendly "Slow the fuck down on neighborhood streets" bill? The idea was to make it easier for cities to lower speed limits on side streets by eliminating the requirement to do expensive traffic studies—as long as the street in question was not an arterial. Despite popular and bipartisan support, the bill died on the floor during an unrelated legislative tantrum.
Tom Fucoloro over at Seattle Bike Blog has a great update on this year's version, HB 1045, the Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill, which just passed the state house 86–10 yesterday; its senate companion (SB 5066) passed out of committee unanimously earlier this month and its eventual passage looks promising.
If you ever walk or bike in any city in Washington, here's why you should give a shit about slightly lower speed limits on neighborhood streets, explains Fucoloro:
Speeds on such streets are most often 25 mph today. Studies show that a person struck by a car going 30 miles per hour has a 40 percent chance of dying. When the speed drops to 20 mph, the chance of dying drops to 5 percent. So while a few mph might seem like a small safety gain, it can actually be the difference between life and death.
It's promising, but it's not there yet. If you would like to be crushed slightly less than all-the-way-dead by your next human vs. car collision, contact your state senator and urge them to pass SB 5066.