KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The speed limit is about to change on a lot of Knoxville’s side streets. Last year, the city council passed a resolution focusing on public safety, and reducing the speed limit in some places is part of that initiative.
Starting July 1 the speed limit will be decreased from 30 to 25 miles per hour on streets where a specific speed limit is not posted. This is part of a bigger initiative called Vision Zero that hopes to illuminate traffic deaths within Knoxville.
Mayor Indya Kincannon said in a Vision Zero campaign video, “research shows that just dropping the speed limit five miles an hour saves lives.”
According to the city leaders, 1 in 5 crashes involves a pedestrian or bicyclist.
Brian O’Connor walks his dog on the side streets and says he has sometimes felt unsafe due to speeding cars.
“Speeding is definitely an issue,” he said. “You routinely see cars coming through here almost using this street as a pass-through.”
He also worries about his neighbors who have small kids.
Brynn Crowell lives just a few doors down from the O’Conners. She has a 10-year-old and a 6-year-old.
When asked how often do they all come to the front and play in the yard, Crowell replied, “every day, every day. We love the neighborhood, there are sidewalks, people are walking, and we can walk our dog. We love just being able to be out here and see neighbors.”
She likes the idea of decreasing the speed limit in her neighborhood, she just hopes people follow the new rules and that KPD enforces them,
“My child plays out here. She’s six. We can teach them road safety until we’re blue in the face but if people are just going to fly through and not be cautious then I think that is a concern I think for parents in neighborhoods like this.”
Speeding fines begin at $111.50 and go up from there.
According to city leaders on average, 34 fatal crashes happen every year in the City of Knoxville. Between 2016 and 2020 over 15 hundred crashes in Knoxville have resulted in either deaths or serious injuries.