'Richfield Drives 25' to kick off June 25

More information available at: www.richfieldmn.gov/drive25
FAQs available at: www.richfieldmn.gov/drive25-faqs

 Richfield, Minn. (April 9, 2024) This summer, Richfield will be taking another step towards a safer community when local speed limits will be lowered to 25 miles per hour throughout the city.

Based on a decision by Richfield City Council in late 2023, Richfield’s residential roads will see a decrease in speed limits by 5 miles per hour (mph). The Richfield Drives 25 initiative will begin in earnest on June 25, when new speed limits go into effect.

“This is good policy and will create a safer environment for kids, senior citizens and other people who move slower,” acknowledged Simon Trautmann, Councilmember for Ward 1. “We are a small city, so this change shouldn’t create a large inconvenience for our residents in their daily lives. It will be a matter of seconds for drivers but will potentially saves lives in the long run.”

The changes will impact all residential streets in Richfield, including Lyndale Avenue. Speed limits on roads governed by the county, including Penn Avenue, 66th Street, Nicollet Avenue and Portland Avenue, will remain unchanged for now, along with the four lane sections of 76th and 77th Streets.

New Speed Limits_ April 2024 - Copy

Following the June 25 launch, Richfield will be in alignment with its neighbors Edina and Bloomington, who reduced local speeds in 2021 and 2023, respectively. The city of Minneapolis reduced speed limits to 20 mph in 2020.

The reduction was discussed in 2022 and 2023, and the decision ultimately resonated with councilmembers because of its direct correlation to safety. Research shows that lowering speed limits reduces the chances of death and severe injuries in car accidents, especially for pedestrians and cyclists. Just a 5-mile-per-hour reduction in speed limits (from 30 mph to 25 mph), results in a 35% reduction in risk for death or severe injury.

“This is a chance for us to prioritize the safety of our community,” encouraged Mary Supple, Richfield Mayor. “By making this change, we will have safer streets and fewer accidents with severe injuries or death.”

Implementation of the change will be led by Richfield Public Works, who will be collecting data in the coming months and years to evaluate the impacts of the lower speed limits.  The ultimate goal of the effort would be to eventually eliminate fatal/serious injury crashes and crashes involving bicycles/pedestrians in Richfield.  

“From an engineering standpoint, we want to see a reduction in speeds and crashes on our streets,” explained city engineer, Joe Powers. “But from a broader perspective, we want to build public awareness around the benefits of reducing speed in our community and the direct impact on safety.”

Public Works crews will begin installing signs in early June. Residents can expect to receive more information from the city in the coming months.

Frequently Asked Questions and other background information is available online at: www.richfieldmn.gov/drive25