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(Austin City Council)

Existing speed limits in Central Austin (left) and future, lower speed limits (right).

Austin drivers are going to have to start slowing down—and not just because there are more cars back on the road.


The City Council approved a measure last week to lower the speed limits in neighborhoods and on certain streets near downtown in an effort to make the roads safer for drivers, bikers and pedestrians. Here's what the changes affect around the city.

  • Neighborhoods: Streets approximately 36 feet in width or narrower and primarily residential will now have their speed limits lowered to 25 mph.
  • Major city streets: Most high-trafficked arterial streets in the area bounded by US 183, SH 71 and MoPac will now be 35 mph.
  • Downtown: Streets in the area surrounded by N. Lamar Blvd., Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, I-35, and Lady Bird Lake will be 25 mph. Guadalupe St., Lavaca St., MLK Jr. Blvd., 15th St., Cesar Chavez St., and Lamar Blvd. will be 30 mph.

Residents can expect the new speed limit changes to be posted over the next few months, according to a city press release. As part of the effort to encourage drivers to travel at lower speeds, some roadways may be re-striped to create narrower lanes or add in bike lanes or designated parking areas.

The decision to lower the speed limits in these areas came after a year-long study by the city's transportation department that found speeding was the primary factor in a quarter of fatal crashes.

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