HOUSTON – It’s been a long time coming, but just like everything else, the process and studies were put on hold because of the pandemic. The traffic studies picked up in the Fall of 2020 when patterns started to make a comeback, and in early June, the ordinance to reduce the speed limit within West University Place city limits was approved.
West University Place residents are ready for the change, with thoughts echoing the cry for safety:
“When I hear that, it makes me feel as though it’s going to be safe for people like me who are bicycling,” one resident said.
“Some people drive really fast, faster than 30!” another resident said.
Gerardo Barrera, Public Works Director for the City of West University Place, says they really took into account residents’ feedback regarding safety when it came to this change.
Even though they ran tests and studies tracking speed and traffic volumes, the information came back saying most of the time drivers were traveling at posted speeds. Of course, West U residents are privy to moments when this is not true.
Ultimately, officials looked at all the different aspects of this change, noting the benefits to reduce the speed limit from 30 to 25 mph outweighed the costs.
“A reduction of speed even in just 5 mph could have a significant reduction in the likelihood of a crash fatality,” Barrera said.
All residential streets are now reduced to 25 mph. Existing 20 mph speed limits near parks and school zones will remain. During non-school hours, drivers will travel at 25 mph near school zones. There are no exceptions to this ordinance.
“There’s one street within West University that is 35 mph-- which is the 4100 and 4200 block of Bissonet,” Barrera said. The speed here will not change.
You won’t see the new speed limit signs just yet. The City of West University Place is working on setting a concrete implementation date. Before they roll that out, West U will be working on an education program first to make sure residents and area drivers are aware of the change.