Norfolk reduces speed limit on neighborhood streets to 20 mph

Posted at 10:31 PM, Nov 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-09 18:31:32-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk is taking action to reduce speed throughout the city's neighborhoods.

To address resident concerns and as part of its Vision Zero initiative, Norfolk’s Department of Transit is introducing a speed reduction program that will lower the speed limit on neighborhood streets to 20 mph.

Norfolk City Council passed an ordinance on October 26, that allows localities to slow speeds on local/neighborhood streets without requiring speed studies.

The ordinance goes into effect on December 11.

The Department of Transit says they have already identified priority areas throughout the city with plans to begin on the south side. Sign installation is expected to take place in that area from Tuesday, November 9, through Friday, November 12, weather permitting.

On November 9 city officials said the initial roll-out includes one crew working around Springfield Avenue (Campostella Heights) and the community around the old Ford Plant while the second team is deployed around S. Main Street/Indian River Road in the Berkley Community (Colonna’s Shipyard). "Both teams should be moving rather quickly from sign location to sign location," officials said.

One neighbor, Janet Caldwell, told News 3 she's glad to see the change. "This is a residential area. We have children and older people," Caldwell said. "We need to feel safe in our neighborhoods and not get hit by a car or whatever because you’re being careless.”

Crews are not scheduled to start the Campostella and Diggs Town area until November 10. After this week, the next section of the city that will have its speed limits changed will be Church Street and Tidewater Drive neighborhoods, according to city officials.

Just after getting her son off the bus in the Campostella neighborhood, Yvonne Baku said, “I didn’t know they were going to change the speed limit in the area, but I think it’s going to be a good thing for all of us.”

20 mph is now nationally recognized as a new speed limit for neighborhood streets.

Vision Zero is the city’s strategy to eliminate all pedestrian and bicycle fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safety, mobility, and equity for all road users. City Council adopted the Vision Zero policy in November 2019.