In 2018, Bedford adopted a Town-wide statutory speed limit of 25 mph. This means that, on any street without a posted speed limit, the default limit is 25 mph.
However, lowering posted speed limits is difficult. To reduce the speed limit on any street with a posted limit, state law requires the Town to first conduct a speed study. The Town must then base any new speed limit on the “85th percentile speed” – the speed that only 15 percent of cars exceed – even if that means raising the speed limit.
Because of that requirement, the first step is to use traffic-calming measures to slow drivers down. If those are effective, the Town could then propose a change in the speed limit based on the new reality on the street.