District Department of Transportation

20 MPH Default Speed Limit Emergency Rulemaking

Monday, June 1, 2020

On May 29, 2020, Mayor Bowser announced plans to permanently lower the default speed limit on local roads from 25 miles per hour (MPH) to 20 MPH as part of her Vision Zero initiative to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries in the District. The new speed limit will go into effect on Monday, June 1.

“The faster cars are traveling on our residential streets, the more likely they are to cause death and serious injury to pedestrians,” said DDOT Director Jeff Marootian. “Mayor Bowser’s plan to reduce the default speed limit and install Slow Streets makes our streets safer, especially now as residents are traveling to and from essential businesses, essential jobs, and families are exercising to support overall physical and mental health during the pandemic.”

Additionally, DDOT will also roll out at least 20 miles of DC Slow Streets across all eight wards over the summer. Slow Streets are restricted to local traffic only and the speed limit is set at 15 mph to support neighborhood-based safe social distancing while walking, running, or cycling. Drivers should only use a designated slow street if their destination is within two blocks of the slow street. Residents, emergency vehicles, deliveries and trash collection vehicles will continue to have access to Slow Streets. Streets with bus routes will not be eligible. DC Slow Streets will be in place for the duration of the public health emergency.