Why Seattle is lowering speed limits to 25 mph

It’s time to slow your roll, Seattle. Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Tuesday that the city will lower the speed limit to 25 mph on all arterials.

Arterials include busy multi-lane roadways with a dividing line. Non-arterials already have a speed limit of 20 mph.

Durkan made her announcement at a senior center on Rainier Avenue South, a street that’s known as an especially dangerous roadway for pedestrians. Overall, 25 people have died in traffic collisions in Seattle so far this year — a figure that’s nearly doubled since 2018.

The tally includes a horrific Thanksgiving weekend crash on Aurora Avenue, where four family members were hit on the sidewalk by an out-of-control motorist who’s accused of driving while high on meth.

Because Aurora Avenue — a.k.a. Highway 99 — is a state highway, it’s not automatically included in the list of streets that will see 25 mph signs. But the mayor said the city is working with WSDOT to lower speed limits there and on Lake City Way.



By Caitlin Moran
Caitlin writes newsletters and stories for The Evergrey. She's worked as a journalist in and around Seattle since 2010 and is a proud resident of Capitol Hill's Summit Slope neighborhood.