The Flower Mound Town Council voted Monday night to lower the town-wide residential speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph.
Until now, subdivisions could collect two-thirds of residents’ signatures and request their speed limits be lowered from 30 to 25. About 20% of Flower Mound residential streets are already at 25 mph, either from those requests or from town staff deeming 30 mph unreasonable or unsafe for those streets.
The change is meant to make the town’s residential streets safer. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study said a pedestrian’s risk of death when a vehicle is going 20 mph is 5%, but it’s 40% at 30 mph. Those percentages essentially double for pedestrians over 70.
Councilman Jim Engel and Mayor Derek France said they’ve never gotten an email from residents about wanting to lower residential speed limits. Engel said it seemed like a solution to a problem that residents didn’t ask for. Councilwoman Ann Martin then said she has 33 years experience in the safety industry, and “The last thing you want is to wait until somebody gets killed to then say, ‘I wish we lowered the speed limit.'”
All council members except Engel voted in favor of the lower speed limits. The work to put up new signs is only expected to cost around $10,000 and will be done over a span of about 18 months as part of regular maintenance. The lower speed limit becomes effective the date that the sign is erected.
A subdivision can request the speed limit be raised back to 30 mph with two-thirds support and final action by Town Council.