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  • The ‘absurd’ reason Boston can’t lower speed limits on its own - 04/01/2016

    But setting a speed limit solely based on the 85th percentile of driver speeds is “absurd” in an urban area with pedestrians, bicyclists, and neighborhood residents, says Peter Furth, a Northeastern University professor of civil engineering.

    “The study requirement comes from a policy that says the speed limit should be based on how fast people are actually driving,” Furth said. “That is the thing that is utterly ridiculous.”

    That policy, he said, was put in place to stop local cities from creating speed traps, but that is less of a problem in the state today.

    “Speed limits should be set based on the needs of the vulnerable users of the road,” Furth said. “On city streets, drivers are not aware of the dangers they pose to kids, elderly people crossing street, cyclists, and other vulnerable users of a street.”

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