Drive 25 FAQs

Have questions about Richfield Drives 25? Here are a few details.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is Richfield lowering speed limits?
Slower is safer. Lower speed limits decrease the frequency and severity of vehicle crashes and protects pedestrians and cyclists. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a pedestrian hit by a driver traveling 40 mph has only a 15% chance of survival. For every 10 mph a driver slows their vehicle, that chance of survival increases by nearly 40%. That means a pedestrian hit at 20 mph has a 95% chance of survival.
Why is the city doing this now?

Prior to 2019, speed limits were set statewide by the Minnesota legislature. While there were some specific exceptions for roads designated as parkways and roads around schools, most roads were set to a default speed limit of 30 miles per hour. After a 2019 addition to state law, cities were given the ability to set speed limits on roads under their jurisdiction. 

What process did the city use to make this decision?
Richfield’s city council directed staff to perform the required safety, engineering, and traffic analysis. Over a series of three work sessions (10/11/2022, 5/9/2023, and 10/24/2023), the city council and staff developed the final plan to lower speed limits citywide. These changes were approved at the 12/12/2023 regular city council meeting.
Have other Minnesota cities implemented a lower speed limit?
Yes. All of the cities that border Richfield have already lowered — or are in the process of lowering — their speed limits. Edina approved a default 25 mph speed limit in August 2021, and Bloomington approved a default 25 mph speed limit in September 2023. Minneapolis lowered its default speed limit to 20 mph in March 2020. Other cities that have lowered speed limits include St. Paul, St. Louis Park, St. Anthony Village, and New Brighton. Default speed limits of 25 mph are also present statewide in Wisconsin and Illinois (among other states).
When does the 25 mph speed limit go into effect?
Lower speed limits will take effect on June 25, 2024.
Why 25 mph?

Staff analyzed speed distribution, roadway context, adjacent land use, and pedestrian activity for local roadways at locations across the city. Since all roads in Richfield are residential, and most drivers on lower volume streets are already driving at or below 25 mph, the city council and staff opted for a citywide blanket speed limit to reduce confusion and create a clear expectation of maximum driving speed on any road in the city.

Are speed limits on the county roads (Penn, Nicollet, Portland, 66th) changing?

No, not at this time. Currently, counties do not have the same control over their speed limits that cities have under current state statutes. If a speed limit change is requested on a county roadway, a speed study would be conducted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

What about 76th and 77th Streets?

The city council approved a speed limit of 30 mph for these roads but an implementation date has not yet been set.

These roads are Richfield city-owned roads, but there are no changes occurring on these four-lane roads at this time. Future changes to speed limits on the four-lane sections of roadway are currently under consideration by the city council.

Does this mean my trips will take longer?
At a constant speed, a car traveling 25 mph will take about 30 seconds longer to travel one mile than a car traveling 30 mph. The majority of vehicle delays experienced in Richfield currently occur and will continue to occur at traffic signals.
How will this speed limit be enforced?
Richfield Police enforce speed limits by providing verbal warnings and citations to drivers who exceed the speed limit. The city also has portable radar signs that can be placed at key locations to provide immediate feedback to drivers if they are exceeding the speed limit. If there are particular areas where speed concerns are identified by residents or staff, additional enforcement efforts may occur in those areas.
Is the city adding traffic calming measures to encourage traffic to slow down?
At this time, the city will not install speed bumps or stop signs to address speed concerns.
If vehicles are still speeding through my neighborhood, what can I do?
Please submit a traffic control request or contact the non-emergency police department line (612-861-9898).
How can I help encourage others to drive 25 mph?

Drive 25 yourself. When talking with neighbors, share the benefits of our city’s reduced speed limit. When they become available, pick up a Richfield Drives 25 yard sign and display it on your lawn. 

Driving at a lower speed is a cultural behavior that is learned over years. The more effort individuals put into intentionally driving slower, the more the community as a whole will benefit.

How does a lower speed limit improve Richfield's quality of life?
It creates a safer pedestrian experience on shared streets. It widens a driver’s field of vision to increase visibility of pedestrians. It reduces vehicle noise in our neighborhoods. And it lowers the severity of vehicle crashes.
What if I have more questions?
Please call 612-861-9793.