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Lexington Ave traffic speed on Council's Monday night agenda

From: Craig Kelley

FYI, folks:

My assistant Wil took some speed measurements on Lexington Ave the other day. Unlike other, often narrower streets, such as Rice Street in North Cambridge, drivers actually exceeded the speed limit about half the time, with four of 59 clocked drivers going 8 miles above our 25 MPH limit. Lexington Ave mostly had mostly one way traffic during the measurements which made it seem wider than it would have been had there been much two-way traffic and the traffic may go faster because of that. Knowing this information (and assuming it’s an accurate reflection of general traffic on Lexington Ave), what’s the appropriate next step for the City to take? My impression is that police officers tend not to ticket for speeds of less than 10 MPH over the limit, but that may be less the case with a 25 MPH limit. Are there enough cars going fast enough to warrant the various costs associated with traffic calming?


I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I think those are useful things to talk about because Lexington Ave is not the only place where drivers speed but are still not going 10, 15 or 20 miles above the speed limit with any regularity. How should we handle such infractions?


Anyway, with thanks to Wil, here’s the memo:


If you’d like to come talk about this Council issue at City Council, you can sign up by phone between 9 AM and 3 PM on Monday at 617-349-4280 and in person from 5-6 PM at the Sullivan Chambers at City Hall. Public comment, limited to three minutes per speaker, starts at 5:30(ish) and lasts at least until 6:00, though if there are enough speakers we often go later. At the end of public comment, people who missed the sign-in window are generally asked if they’d like to speak anyway. The entire Council may be emailed at


Thanks a lot.