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Council Considering Reducing Speed Limits On Dozens Of Downtown Streets

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It could soon take motorists longer to navigate some streets in downtown Lexington.  The Urban County Council is looking at reducing speed limits from 35 to 25 miles per hour on Jefferson, Third, Fourth, Upper, Limestone, Waller Avenue, Cooper Drive, Virginia Avenue, plus portions of High Street and Loudon Avenue.

City traffic manager Dowell Hoskins Squier, told members of the council’s Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee that the move is part of an overall plan to make the city safer for bike and pedestrian traffic.

"The central business district and the University of Kentucky area and Transylvania area have far greater pedestrian volumes than any neighborhood and I feel like it's not only my goal to provide safe roadways for vehicles but it's also to provide safe roadways for peds, and bikes, and so this would be one step towards that," Squier said.

The University of Kentucky has already agreed to drop the speed limits from 35 to 25 miles per hour on streets it controls – Hilltop Avenue and University Drive. 

Streets that are also state highways —such as Main, Vine and Broadway —would not be included unless the state agrees. It has turned down the city’s previous request to lower speeds.

The council will take a final vote on the proposal in the coming weeks.