Austin Transportation’s Speed Management Program works to improve safety and enhance the livability of Austin streets through context-appropriate speed reduction strategies. The program’s objectives to reduce egregious speeding on all street levels and the likelihood of serious injury and fatal crashes support the City’s Vision Zero goal.

Recent Program Updates:

Next Steps:

  • New speed limit sign installation plan and public awareness effort (TBD)
  • Speed Management treatments: project selection and initiate implementation (Summer 2020)

Speed Management is Important

Speeding is the primary contributing factor in one quarter of Austin traffic fatality crashes. Each year more than 10,000 people lose their lives to speed-related crashes in the United States. In Austin, data shows speeding was the primary contributing factor in 24% of traffic crashes resulting in death between 2013-2017. This makes it the top one of the four behaviors which contribute to most of the fatal crashes in Austin (along with failure to yield, distraction, and intoxication).

Effective speed management is critical for creating streets that support safe and convenient travel by everyone—whether they are in cars, on bicycles, walking or using assisted mobility devices. People get around Austin in different ways (sometimes on the same trip); by implementing intuitive, context-sensitive speed management strategies, the Austin community can enable safe and convenient travel for all.

Speed management is also a critical focus area to achieve our community’s safety goals. Throughout the years, Austin City Council has indicated safety as a priority in Imagine Austin, Austin Strategic Direction 2023, and the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan and continues to work towards our Vision Zero goal of reaching zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries.

Speed Limits

(Updated June 2020) Based on a comprehensive traffic engineering study, the City Traffic Engineer determined that roadway speeds should be reduced to achieve safe and prudent speeds on a wide range of roadways in Austin. The speed limit strategy is outlined in three parts: 

  • Neighborhood Streets – streets which are approximately 36 feet or less in width and have primarily front-facing residential land uses will be posted at 25MPH. Some neighborhood streets wider than 36 feet will also have reduced posted speed limits.
  • Urban Core Arterials – most major arterial streets (Level 3 ASMP streets) within the city urban core bounded by US 183, SH 71, and Loop 1, will be posted at 35MPH or less, with a few exceptions.
  • Downtown Streets – most streets within the area bounded by N. Lamar Blvd., Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, I-35, and Lady Bird Lake will be posted at 25MPH. Guadalupe St., Lavaca St., MLK Jr. Blvd., 15th St., Cesar Chavez St., and Lamar Blvd. will be posted at 30MPH.

The first speed limit changes will be phased in over the next few months with ample time for public awareness efforts to take place. The first changes travelers will see is the installation of new speed limit signage and digital messaging displays informing people of the changes. Some speed limit changes may be accompanied by other roadway treatments like restriping to narrower lane widths or assignment of portions of the street for alternative uses such as biking or parking uses to create a space more conducive to lower speeds. An updated interactive map showing a preliminary view of the speed limit changes is now available for the public.

Please review the full presentation for additional details.

Speed Management Resources

Previous project status updates