State nonprofit supports reduced speeds in El Paso residential streets

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Cars drive down Mesa Street on July 1, 2020 in El Paso, Texas. As coronavirus cases have surged in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has paused the state’s reopening plan. (Photo by Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An Austin-based nonprofit applauds the El Paso City Council for supporting reduced residential street speeds.

The council declared its support to reducing residential speeds from 30 mph to 25 mph during its last meeting. The idea behind reducing speeds is part of a state initiative called Vision Zero, which is aimed at changing laws and policies that promote safety around traffic practices.

“Every family in Texas should have the opportunity to live on a safe street, where kids can walk, bike and play,” said Jay Blazek Crossley, the executive director of Farm&City. “Unfortunately, most of our neighborhoods are designed to encourage people to drive at speeds that can kill or seriously injure people walking, biking or even traveling in cars.”

The Farm&City nonprofit advocates for better transportation, urban planning, sustainability and equity in state and local policies.

Leaders of the group say the state places a priority on major safety initiatives that are implemented on major highway projects rather than on residential streets, where more children are killed or seriously hurt from traffic-related issues.

District 1 Rep. Peter Svarzbein put his support behind El Paso’s position on reduced speeds in residential areas.

“As someone who has advocated strongly over the years for enhanced pedestrian and bicycle safety, it is clear to me that giving cities the option of reducing speed limits in residential areas to 25 mph would be a huge step in the right direction to keep El Pasoans and Texans safe on city streets,” Svarzbein said.

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