The Mission City Council has approved a reduction of the speed limit early next year on Johnson Drive through the suburb’s downtown area to 25 miles per hour.
The previous limit was 30 miles per hour between Lamar and Roe avenues, but the council approved the reduction in order to improve safety and promote pedestrian traffic along the Johnson Drive corridor.
“Some of the speeds were up to 40 miles per hour in that area,” said Mission councilmember Debbie Kring during last Wednesday’s meeting.
Mission leaders over the last 18 months has discussed traffic and pedestrian safety along Johnson Drive, particularly after the city completed an extensive reconstruction of the commercial strip last year.
Mayor Steve Schowengerdt convened a working group to analyze options for Johnson Drive in consultation with Olsson Associates.
The analysis came back with a recommendation to pull the speed limit down to 25 miles per hour, along with reserving nine parking spots along Johnson Drive for compact cars only.
Car accident volume hasn’t been particularly high along Johnson Drive’s commercial corridor — city records indicate 32 accidents occurred in downtown Mission between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30 — but a separate analysis showed some automobile drivers had a knack for cruising Johnson Drive well above posted speed limits.
Mission police reported 15 speeding tickets along Johnson Drive so far in 2016 with the average violator exceeding the speed limit by an average 13.5 miles per hour. The year before, 13 tickets caught speeders beating the limit by an average of 14.7 miles per hour.