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Cities and towns across Massachusetts are lowering speed limits

Lowell puts new 25 mph speed limit into effect
Lowell puts new 25 mph speed limit into effect 02:11

LOWELL - If you plan to drive through Lowell, check your speedometer. The city is starting to put its new 25 mile per hour rule into effect on all downtown streets and those in dense neighborhoods. "I think it'll make it a lot safer for everyone," said Sue Harmon, a mother crossing the street with her young daughter in the busy downtown area.

The 25 mile per hour limit is a statute that 79 other Massachusetts communities have already opted into. Lowell's City Council voted it in last year but hasn't put the policy into effect until now. Lowell police are starting to stop speeders just to let them know about it, but soon, they say they'll start writing tickets.

Lowell speed limit
Lawn sign in Lowell to educate public about new speed limit CBS Boston

City road crews have been replacing speed limit signs, and residents have helped themselves to free lawn signs available at City Hall, designed to educate the public. "We live in a community where there are a lot of children who live around here," said resident Lloyd Dejesus. "People just...don't care. They just go, and they have to slow down."

Boston considers drastic change

As more communities consider doing the same, the city of Boston already has the 25 mile per hour limit, and city councilors are discussing an even more drastic move. "I think it should be 20 miles an hour or even 15 miles an hour," said Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn. "Twenty-five miles an hour driving through Boston's dense neighborhoods is excessive."

Fifteen miles per hour is close to the speed of this year's Boston Marathon champion, and 25 miles per hour is actually slower than sprinter Usain Bolt.

Lowell residents say they welcome the change. "Twenty-five miles an hour is a good speed," said Scott Plath who owns a restaurant in the busiest part of the city's dense downtown. "Twenty-two miles an hour too slow. Thirty miles an hour, too fast." 

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