Speed limits on portions of several Lexington streets will go from 35 miles per hour to 25 within the next 30 days.
The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council voted Tuesday to lower the speed limits on portions of several streets, including Tates Creek Road, West High Street, South Limestone Street and South Upper Street. Councilmen Bill Farmer Jr. and Fred Brown were the only council members to vote against the resolution..
Ownership of portions of those roads were transferred from the state Transportation Cabinet to the city in a road swap that was finalized in November 2017.
The city lowered speed limits on several other streets it controls in 2016 as part of a broader push to slow traffic and make streets safer for pedestrians.
The city also asked the state to lower speed limits on major streets it controls, including Main and Vine streets, but state Transportation Cabinet officials declined that request.
So far this year, 14 pedestrians have died on Lexington streets, the most since the city began tracking that number in 1996.
The portions of streets where the speed limits will decrease from 35 to 25 are:
▪ Euclid Avenue
▪ Avenue of Champions
▪ Winslow Street
▪ Bolivar Street
▪ South Limestone Street from Virginia Avenue to Avenue of Champions
▪ South Upper Street from Winslow to Limestone
▪ Tates Creek Road north of Cooper Drive
▪ East High Street north of Cooper Drive
▪ West Maxwell Street north of Oliver Lewis Way to Broadway
▪ West High Street from Oliver Lewis Way to Broadway
▪ Manchester Street from Oliver Lewis Way to Jefferson Street
The council has also referred the topic of speed limits on neighborhood streets to a council committee after council members said they are receiving many complaints and requests to lower speed limits in neighborhoods.
Jeff Neal, director of traffic engineering, said during an Oct. 23 Environmental Quality and Public Works council committee meeting that lowering the speed limits on downtown streets will not dramatically slow traffic. But lowering speeds will make it safer for pedestrians, he said.
Neal said the speed limits will likely be lowered by the end of December.
“We should be able to change the signs out before the end of the year,” Neal said. “The whole process will take staff about a week to change out all the signs.”
Also on Tuesday, the council approved a memorandum of understanding between the city and Main Street Baptist Church that would give the church access to a newly-constructed parking lot on Main Street for the next three years.
The church has been working with the city for more than 18 months to replace parking the church will lose with the expansion and renovation of Rupp Arena and the convention center, which is behind Main Street Baptist Church.
The city will build the parking lot for $90,000. The church will be able to use the parking lot on Sundays and other days it has services. The city and others will be able to use the parking lot when the church does not need it.