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By state law and city ordinance, the speed limit on McKinney streets is 30 mph unless otherwise marked. Residential streets are mostly 30 mph except in marked school zones.
Municipalities and other agencies responsible for traffic control are sometimes asked by citizens to reduce the posted speed limit in hopes that the lower speed limit will reduce operating speeds and accident potential. Although public agencies share the desire for low driving speeds and improved safety, studies have shown that arbitrarily reducing the speed limit does not accomplish the desired result.
The safest traffic condition occurs when all vehicles travel approximately the same speed, creating a low speed differential. When speed limits are set too low, accident potential may increase due to the greater speed differential.
Many years of research and experience have shown that lowering regulatory speed limits does not result in lower driving speeds or in reduced accident potential. By and large, drivers choose their speed independent of the posted speed limit. Drivers select their speed intuitively based on the environment around them and the speed that feels comfortable and safe. Studies have shown that there are no significant changes in average vehicle speeds following the posting of revised speed limits.
In most cases, drivers operate their vehicles at speeds that they consider safe and prudent, despite posted speed limits. Most speed limits are based on the 85th percentile speed. It has proven to be an effective theory used by the majority of safety agencies that set speed limits throughout the country.
When a significant percentage of vehicles utilizing a roadway appear to exceed the speed limit, the Engineering Department can determine if a speeding problem exists by conducting a traffic study. A speeding problem is indicated on a residential street when the 85th-percentile speed is equal to or greater than 5 mph over the legal speed limit. If a speeding problem is determined from the traffic study, three potential steps will be taken to address the problem: 1. The Police Department will be informed of the problem and increased enforcement of the existing speed limit may be implemented. 2. The Engineering Department will determine if additional signage, such as speed limit or warning signs, or pavement markings are needed. Driver feedback signage can be installed temporarily on site. 3. The Engineering Department will consult with neighborhood representatives to set up a Neighborhood Traffic Volunteer Program. A street will be eligible for reevaluation of the speed limit on an annual basis or as changing roadway conditions dictate. All traffic studies are conducted in accordance with established engineering practices and guidelines. Get more information about the Neighborhood Traffic Volunteer program’s Neighborhood Traffic Calming Policy. If you think you have a speeding problem in your neighborhood, contact the Engineering Department at 972-547-7475.
The City of McKinney’s primary objective at a school crossing is the protection of children. A school walking route is planned to take advantage of existing traffic controls, like stop signs or traffic signals. This sometimes makes it necessary for student pedestrians to walk an indirect route to an established school crossing located where there is an existing traffic control or crossing guard. This improves the movement of traffic by encouraging pedestrians to cross at one centralized location.
When the Don't Walk indication is flashing, it is not safe for the pedestrian to start crossing the intersection. A pedestrian who is already in the crosswalk when the indication starts to flash will have enough time to reach the other side if traveling at a normal walking speed of 3.5 feet per second.