As more U.S. cities embrace the Vision Zero approach to curtailing traffic and ensuring pedestrian safety, there’s plenty of compelling data in favor of slow roads coming out of Edinburgh, Scotland. The numbers show how lower speed limits can change drivers’ attitudes about bicyclists — and even let city-dwellers breathe a bit easier thanks to air quality improvement.
The easy-to-love capital city is rolling out a plan to cap the speed limit at 20 mph across 80 percent of its roads, including the entirety of its dense downtown. Key arterial roads will retain their speeds of 30 and 40 mph. After three years of planning, public engagement and pilot projects, as well as advocacy by Living Streets and 20’s Plenty For Us, the new strategy is explicitly about encouraging people to bike or walk, rather than drive.