The previous speed limits on the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus had wide variations, ranging from 10 mph to 30 mph. This non-uniformity of speed limits campus-wide created confusion for both drivers and pedestrians. It also caused issues in enforcing speed limits and having efficient, orderly operation of the Bull Runner shuttle service. Members of the University’s Parking and Transportation Services, Facility Planning and Construction Department, USF Police, the College of Public Health, and the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) met to propose reevaluating the speed limits on campus. The need for an update of speed limits on campus is essential to promote a pedestrian-friendly campus and to provide drivers with a uniform driving environment.
CUTR’S program director, Dr. Pei-Sun Lin and his team conducted the speed limit study on 49 roadway segments throughout the campus and completed the study in June of 2013. More than 100 speed samples for each direction of each segment were collected and analyzed. The study found that the average speed on campus was 24.57 mph with a standard deviation of 3.97 mph. Procedures from the Speed Zoning Manual from the Florida Department of Transportation, pedestrian and bicycling activities on campus, and engineering judgment, a campus-wide speed limit of 25 mph was recommended based on the computed 85th percentile speeds of all studied segments.
The USF Board of Trustees approved the recommendations from the CUTR’s speed limit study on September 4th to implement this new speed with hopes for a safer traveling environment for everyone. Before the speed limit change, the variation of the speed limits was 6.05 mph. With the proposed speed limits the variation is reduced to 1.05 mph. Thus, the proposed speed limits provide a campus-wide uniform driving environment. The new speed limits were just installed in the first week of October 2013.