WHEATON – Starting next month, motorists will have to drive slower through the city's neighborhoods.
At their July 16 meeting, Wheaton City Council members unanimously approved lowering the speed limit for residential streets from 30 mph to 25 mph. The new speed limit is set to take effect Aug. 1, City Manager Michael Dzugan said.
"Obviously, enforcement of the new speed limits won't occur until notice is given, and that notice is the erection of signs," Dzugan said, adding it will take about a month to install the new speed limit signs.
State law sets the maximum speed limit for local city streets at 30 miles per hour, unless otherwise posted. The city adheres to this standard except in the city's central business district and school areas, where the speed limit is posted at 20 miles per hour.
The City Council explored the process of lowering the speed limit based on a traffic study conducted by Rosemont-based engineering consultant KLOA Inc. Although 25 mph will be the speed limit for the majority of residential streets, some streets in Wheaton are considered major collector and arterial streets, where traffic volumes exceed 6,000 cars per day. Those streets serve as major access routes to and from Wheaton, and as such, officials said they will maintain their current speed limit.
Those maintaining the speed limit of 30 mph are:
• Main Street – north of Seminary Avenue
• President Street
• Blanchard Street – south of Roosevelt Road
• West Street – south of Willow Avenue
• Warrenville Road – south of Roosevelt Road
• Wiesbrook Road
• Orchard Road – south of Wiesbrook Road
• Manchester Road
• East Loop Road
• West Loop Road
• Leask Lane
• 22nd Street
• Lorraine Road – south of Roosevelt Road
Streets maintaining a speed limit of 35 mph include:
• Gary Avenue – north of Harrison Avenue
• Shaffner Road
City Council member Suzanne Fitch said the new speed limits are "just one component" to making streets safer for pedestrians.
"We also have our sidewalk program ensuring that we have a sidewalk on at least one side of a street so kids can get safely to and from school," Fitch said. "And then I think another component is having the police department or communications department educate residents about the dangers of distracted driving. And maybe when we do our education campaign for the new speed limit, we can incorporate that as well."