Miami-Dade County, Florida Editorial: Lower neighborhood speed limits require tougher policing

As county officials work to speed traffic flow on major arteries, local officials are pulling the other way to slow traffic on residential streets.

These aren’t two engines trying to pull the same train in opposite directions. Improved arterial flow could – at least in theory – reduce the growing tendency of frustrated drivers to cut through residential neighborhoods when main roads jam up.

But that’s theory, and on our drive we have to get somewhere faster than traffic allows. Many of us cut through neighborhoods to do it.

So we come to this week, as a county commission committee considers measures that would allow two localities – the City of Miami and Miami Shores – to reduce the maximum speed on residential municipal streets from 30 miles per hour to 25. That speed reduction would be following the path of Coral Gables, which has already done it.

Municipalities don’t shoot from the hip and just ask for speed reductions. First they do traffic studies. Then the county’s transportation officials review a formal municipal request to cut speeds.