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Safe Streets SA initiative to lower speed limits

By: Lauren Lea

SAN ANTONIO - Slow down and save a life! The new "Safe Streets SA" initiative, launched by District 7 Councilman Cris Medina, will be lowering speed limits in eleven residential areas to make the streets safer for children and pedestrians.  The initiative was spurred by the death of six-year-old Brandon Abrams, who was hit by a speeding driver as he was riding his bike on the sidewalk on Autumn Sunrise in January.

"It really got us to think about how,  what we can do even more to go above and beyond to find a way to keep our neighborhood streets safe for everybody," Medina explained.

Soon Public Works and Police will be watching drivers to see how many of them are breaking the law. Early next year, the speed limit will drop to 25 miles per hour, a limit that gives pedestrians a 95-percent chance of surviving a collision, according to statistics provided by Medina's office.

"Same pedestrian, same cyclist hit by that same vehicle going 40 miles per hour and their survivability rate drops dramatically to 15 percent," he said.

Neighbors say speed humps installed after Brandon's death seem to have done little to slow traffic, but they hope the initiative will work.

"I think it's a great idea. I support that completely, but you could lower it to ten [miles per hour] and it would just be a matter of whether people pay attention to it or not," said Dawn Trueblood.

"I still think it should be ten miles an hour, 'cause 20 miles an hour is too fast," said Jane Withers.

The pilot program will also include streets around Woodlawn Lake and areas identified in the other nine council districts, which have yet to be determined.  The target areas are considered problem areas based on the number of complaints and the number of speeding tickets.

 
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