The Oregon Department of Transportation quietly reduced speeds on more than a mile of U.S. Highway 20 in Bend last week.
New 35 mph speed limit signs were installed Feb. 8 between 27th and Eighth streets, which includes a section also known as Greenwood Avenue, department spokesman Peter Murphy said. Greenwood previously had a 45 mph limit from slightly east of 27th Street to about halfway between 15th and Eighth streets.
Lower speed limits took effect once the signs went up, Murphy said, but the department didn’t announce the changes or do anything to make the signs more noticeable. Also last week, the department lowered the speed limit on a section of Highway 20 just outside of Bend from 55 to 45 mph.
Bend Police Lt. Clint Burleigh said the department knew changes were coming but wasn’t notified when the signs changed. He said the department plans to start a social media campaign and other outreach efforts to tell people about the lower speeds.
Burleigh didn’t have statistics on how many speeding tickets have been issued since the lower speed limit took effect, but he said Bend Police typically try to educate and warn drivers before giving tickets when traffic regulations change.
A lower speed limit should help reduce the number of serious crashes, he said.
“That 10 miles an hour is a big deal,” he said.