Speed limits on Monticello residential streets could be decreasing in early 2021.
The Monticello City Council has authorized city staff to begin the process of designating 25 m.p.h. speed zones with the intent of decreasing speed limits on some city streets.
The move comes after a 2019 change in Minnesota State Statutes under which the Minnesota Legislature granted cities the ability to implement 25 m.p.h. speed limits if certain criteria is met. Streets must be residential, they cannot be collector streets, and signage must be put in place. Regarding signs, City Administrator Jeff O’Neill said 25 m.p.h. signs would not be placed all over the city. Instead, they would be placed at the entrance to neighborhoods.
Under the directive from the City Council, city staff will begin the process of planning for changes in speed limits on residential city streets. Cchanges would not occur in the city’s business districts or in the downtown area or other areas that are not zoned residential.
In a plan laid out before the Council on Monday, Aug. 10, city staff stated that a policy would be developed to analyze the possible move to 25 m.p.h. residential speed limits. That includes studying present and future roadway classifications to determine if a street would qualify for a change in speed limit. For examole, if future plans don’t call for a current road to be residential in nature, it would not be eligible to be signed at 25 m.p.h. if changes are made next spring.
The analysis would also include a study of existing signage so updating or removal of signs could be completed.
Councilmember Charlotte Gabler said speed limit violations are one of the top complaints she gets from people as a council member.
“Does anyone follow them?” Gabler said of the speed limits.
“Let’s give this a whirl,” she said.
Mayor Brian Stumpf said he sees speeding on every city street.
“It’s been like that for 100 years,” he said.
Under the plan approved by the Council on Aug. 10, a report on how to apply and implement any proposed changes in speed limits and the corresponding sign changes will be brought back to the City Council for final approval in November.
If the City Council approves that plan, the lower residential speed limits would be put in place in the Spring of 2021. New speed limit signs would be erected at that time, as well.