Speed Limits

Updated: July 2018

We’ve gotten a lot of questions about speed limits, so we’ve created a map where you can click around and find out the speed limit on your street. Check out the map below and learn more about why speed matters.

Speed is the critical factor in the frequency and severity of crashes. A few miles per hour difference can make a big impact.

This image details survival rates of pedestrians if hit by vehicles traveling at different speeds. 9 out of 10 pedestrians survive if hit by a vehicle traveling at 20 miles per hour. 5 out of 10 pedestrians survive if hit by a vehicle traveling at 30 miles per hour. Only 1 out of 10 pedestrians survive if hit by a vehicle traveling at 40 miles per hour.

What are the default speed limits in Seattle?

In 2016, we lowered citywide default speed limits, in support of our Vision Zero efforts to make streets safer for everyone. Here's what changed:

Seattle speed limits

  • All non-arterial streets (what we think of as residential streets, where there is no dividing yellow line) went from 25 MPH to 20 MPH
  • All arterial streets (more major streets, with a dividing yellow line) went from 30 MPH to 25 MPH, unless otherwise posted (the latter took effect primarily downtown and in nearby neighborhoods)

Lowering speed limits has been and will continue to be a key part of Seattle’s Vision Zero efforts to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030.

Lowering speed limits in urban villages

80% of pedestrian collisions occur within or near our city's urban villages, and 90% of all serious and fatal crashes occur on arterial streets

In 2017, we began evaluating and setting new speed limits for arterial streets within urban villages (think: neighborhood business districts). These are where we see the most activity (lots of people walking, biking, driving, and taking transit) and the most crashes involving pedestrians. We're continuing this work in 2018 and beyond. In addition to replacing existing sinage, people can expect to see more speed limit sinage, to help increase awareness.

City of Seattle Speed Limit Map

Click on a street to see what the speed limit is.