The speed limit was reduced April 2, and Leander City Council approved the speed limit reduction at its June 4 meeting with a 6-1 vote. Mayor Troy Hill voted in dissent.
City Engineer Wayne Watts said there are eight parts of the road that do not meet the city's adopted safety standards. The road is considered unsafe at 45 MPH compared to other nearby roads with the same speed.
Watts said the speed limit was set in 1980 when Leander's population was less than 3,000 people. Watts said the road is narrow and substandard, and the city has received complaints about unsafe speeds from Hero Way residents.
Mayor Hill said he was concerned about multiple speed limit changes near Hero Way and Ronald Reagan Boulevard. He said 30 MPH is not okay for the road.
“I’m not happy with the hodgepodge of speed limits all over this city,” Hill said.
Council Member Marci Cannon said she drives the road frequently and agreed with the reduction.
“This is a Band-Aid—there’s no question about it—but I drive this road every day and it is very, very dangerous,” Cannon said.
Council also approved an ordinance to prohibit bicyclists and pedestrians on the same section of the road.
Leander Police Lieutenant Luana Wilcox presented the ordinance to council. The ordinance will last until the roadway is improved, Wilcox said, and it is not permanent.
Bicyclists must to follow the same rules as vehicles in Texas, and pedestrians must use a sidewalk if one is available. Wilcox said the road has no sidewalk and no shoulder with narrow, dangerous areas at bridges.
"There's no safety zone for anyone to go to," Wilcox said.
The road also has double yellow lines, which does not allow cars to pass pedestrians or bicyclists on the road. Wilcox said there are bicyclists on every road in the city, and Council Member Cannon said bicyclists are on the road often.
Wilcox said the department does not write many tickets for this type of violation ordinance. A maximum violation cost is $500 plus court costs; the minimum is $1 plus court costs.
"It's really, truly about safety," Wilcox said.