Speed Limits on Roadways

Policy

The statutory speed limit on roadways in Fridley is 30 miles per hour (mph). This is the speed limit unless posted otherwise. Posted speed limits other than 30 mph are basedSpeed Limit Sign upon a traffic engineering study which evaluates existing conditions and driver behavior.

Rationale

Speed limit signs are not intended for, nor are they effective as speed control devices. A common belief is that posting a speed limit will influence drivers to drive at that speed. The facts indicate otherwise.

Reducing the speed limit may not improve safety either. In fact, an unrealistically low speed limit can actually lead to accidents. Here's why:

  • Research by others have shown that drivers are influenced more by the appearance of the roadway itself and the prevailing traffic conditions than by the posted speed limit.
  • Some drivers will obey the lower posted speed while others will feel it's unreasonable and simply ignore it. This disrupts the uniform traffic flow and increases accident potential between the faster and the slower drivers.
  • When traffic is traveling at different speeds, the number of breaks in traffic to permit safe crossing is reduced. Pedestrians also have greater difficulty in judging the speed of approaching vehicles.

Procedure

The Public Works Director will have a traffic study conducted to determine if a change in the posted speed may be justified. If so, a City Council resolution will be introduced asking the Minnesota Department of Transportation to investigate and determine the safe and reasonable speed limit. By state statute, only the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation may change speed limits on roadways in the City.