The purpose of the Statewide Speed Limit Vision Project was to develop a vision for setting speed limits supported by cities, counties, user groups, public safety and enforcement.
Speed limits stimulate a lot of discussion. They shape our communities, influence how we use our transportation network, and impact safety. With so many variables, how can we agree on how speed limits should be set? With this question in mind, and an eye for the future, leadership teams for city and county engineering associations requested that the State Aid Division of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) help facilitate a conversation about speed limits.
From December 2019-December 2022, MnDOT will be working with a diverse group of stakeholders, partners, and users to establish a statewide vision and procedure for setting speed limits. This work will occur in two main phases:
December 2019-December 2020
The goal of Phase 1 was to develop a consistent and unified vision related to speed limits supported by cities, counties, special interests, public safety and enforcement. It included a literature search, input from technical advisory and transportation user groups, and the development of a vision for speed limits on local roads in Minnesota.
- Document national approaches to setting speed limits
- Review Minnesota speed limit history and laws
- Gather input from technical and user groups
- Evaluate approaches to setting speed limits
- Define a supported and unified vision
By the end of December 2020, MnDOT adopted the Minnesota Statewide Speed Limit Vision, which is guided by three core values. While developing the vision, the task force also established a series of statements relating to shared values.
- Vision Statement: Speed limits are set with an emphasis on all users with key influences of safety, engineering and surrounding land use.
- Core values: Speed limits are affected by community context, land use, and road design; governed by voluntary compliance through education and accepted social norms; established through consistent technical evaluation and applied equitably across all communities.
- Shared values: In Minnesota, we believe that:
- Promotion of safety culture, crash severity reduction, surrounding land use, and non-motorized users should be the amongst the highest considerations when determining a road’s speed limit.
- Achieving driver compliance through the equitable application of engineering, road design, education and enforcement should be considered for all users when determining a road’s speed limit.
- A vision for speed limits should recognize the different functions roadways provide.
Use Minnesota Statewide Speed Limit Vision (which was adopted in Phase 1) to create a new speed limit setting process.
- Start with supported and unified statewide vision and core values
- Document and review existing MnDOT speed limit change request and speed study process
- Gather input from stakeholders on process improvements
- Develop a refined process for setting speed limits that incorporates the unified vision
- Develop targeted messaging and series of tools to inform of new process (who is the audience – is it stakeholders, public, or both?)
WHAT WILL PHASE 2 DO?
- Gather information from MnDOT and stakeholders regarding the current speed limit change and speed study process.
- Review how other states are incorporating the latest national approaches to speed limit setting.
- Develop a refined process and targeted messaging and materials to inform stakeholders and the public of the process
Read more on developing a vision for speed limits in Minnesota (PDF)
Watch more on developing a speed limit vision for Minnesota (YouTube)
Scott McBride, P.E.
952-890-0509 ext. 3475
Jennifer McCoy, P.E., PTOE
515-259-9190 ext. 3491