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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Cape May Plans Citywide Speed Reduction

Cape May's council has reduced the speed on certain roads to 20 miles per hour.

By Vince Conti

CAPE MAY – At its meeting Aug. 16, Cape May City Council continued to discuss reducing the speedlimit to at least 20 miles per hour on most streets within the city’s jurisdiction. Some city streets are county roads and city council has no direct control over their speed limits.  

After two years of tragic deaths and injuries, especially to bicyclists and pedestrians, city council members spoke of the lower risk of injury likely at reduced speeds. They cited scientific evidence that shows thatas speed lowers, car impacts become rapidly less deadly. 

One study by the AAA Safety Foundation foundthat a pedestrian struck by a driver travelling at 20 miles per hour has a 93% chance of survival. As speeds increase, the likelihood of survival plummets.  

Deputy Mayor Stacy Sheehan called for greater enforcement of the speed limits that already exist. Police Chief Dekon Fashaw countered that his relatively small department does all that it can given the many calls for service it must respond to when the city’s population explodes during the summer season.  

Mayor Zack Mullock said that a high percentage of drivers obey posted speeds and would voluntarily comply if the speed limit is lowered. “The lower speed limit would add just a minute or two to the time needed to cross from point A to point B,” Mullock said. He added that the town was not built for the automobile traffic it experiences in the summer months.  

“We have encouraged people to bike and walk in the city,” Mullock said. “We need to make that experience as safe as possible. 

Although the item was discussed, no formal action was taken.  

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