ROCKVILLE – Delegates David Moon (D-20) and Marc Korman (D-16) plan on introducing a pair of bills in the next legislative session in January that would reduce the default speed limits on some County roads.
Bill MC 22-17 would lower the default speed limit of 30 mph on roads with an un-posted speed limit to 25 mph, and Bill MC 23-17 would give the County the power to lower the speed limit floor on some County roads from 25 mph to 20 mph.
“This will allow the County to have a process where neighborhoods could come into the Department of Transportation and have an assessment made and then if it qualifies for the reduction they could have a reduction,” said County Council member Hans Riemer (D-at large).
Riemer has worked with Moon, throwing his support behind the bills. Originally Montgomery County Police opposed the bills, but came to support it after a compromise was reached.
Originally the bills proposed lowering the default speed limit from 30 mph to 20 mph and the speed limit floor from 25 mph to 15 mph. Montgomery County Police Traffic Division Director Tom Didone said the amended bills are more realistic to enforce.
“I don’t think that’s going to cause heartburn anywhere,” Didone said.
Currently roads with no posted limits have a speed limit of 30 mph, Didone said most people are surprised to learn the speed limit on un-posted roads is 30 mph and not 25 mph.
Bill 23-17 would allow the Montgomery County Department of Transportation the authority to lower the speed limit from 25 mph to 20 mph on some neighborhood roads.
“You know, 25 is too fast in some places,” Riemer said. “And I think that’s kind of the core of the issue, so enforcing the current limit of 25 isn’t really the right solution for some neighborhoods. What they really do need is a limit of 20.”
Last Wednesday, the Montgomery County State Delegation held a public hearing the bills where community members gave their support saying the speed on some residential roads are too high.
“We believe that bills 22-17 and 23-17 and the subsequent possibility of varied speed limits will help to make a safer community and better roads for all county residents whether they are in motorized vehicles, walking or biking,” said Adrienne McBride from the Montgomery County League of Women Voters.