Minneapolis Schools Look to Slow School Zone Speeds

Updated: 11/12/2012 2:00 PM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls

The death of a 4-year-old boy, in part, prompted the city of Minneapolis to seek lower speed limits in school zones.  Jose Rodreguez was killed in October when he was hit by a car crossing 26th St. and 11th Avenue to play soccer in a park next to Andersen School.

At the time of his death, his mother, Sebastiana Rodreguez called for changes to make the street safer. Minneapolis City officials agree and now they want to have the ability to cut speed limits in any school zone.

Right now, the state has a minimum speed limit of 30-miles-per-hour in any residential area and there are no reduced speed limits in school zones. If the legislature approves the City's request for lower speed limits in school zones, City Council member, Gary Schiff, tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the Council will cut speed limits from 30 to 20-miles-per-hour in school zones where neighborhoods request the change.

Approval at the Capitol stands a good chance because the Governor is a Democrat and the House and Senate are now controlled by Democrats, too.

The city will pay for any street signs that need to be changed, if the approval is given. But, Schiff says that cost is far cheaper than putting police on every school corner to write tickets. And, Schiff says, the chances of dying after being hit by a car traveling 30-miles-an-hour are double than being hit by a vehicle going 20-miles-an-hour. He says the changes are needed to make the streets safer for school children as well as motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.