20 mph Speed Limit Ordinance Amendment

An ordinance amendment to lower the default residential speed limit from 25 to 20 miles per hour was passed unanimously by the Fayetteville City Council on Oct. 5, 2021. It will go into effect Nov. 6, 2021. (Click here to view the ordinance amendment.)  

The change to the default speed limit will affect all residential streets that do not have a posted speed limit. Streets that are currently signed for 25 MPH or higher will remain at the posted speed limit until signs are replaced or removed. 

It is the policy of Fayetteville Police Department to provide a 30-day grace period following a reduction in speed limit before issuing citations for speed violations. Any increase in traffic patrol in residential areas will be complaint driven.  If you wish to report speeders in your neighborhood, you may call the Fayetteville Police Department non-emergency number:  479-587-3555.

Why lower the speed limit? 

The ordinance amendment is intended to address community-wide concerns around neighborhood speeding and pedestrian safety. The University of Arkansas showed support for lowering speed limits following two pedestrian fatalities on streets surrounding campus in recent years. The amendment was also supported by recommendations from the National Association of City Transportation Officials, the City’s 2019 Mobility Plan  and  City Plan 2040, which establishes desired operating speeds of 15-20 MPH for most residential streets. 

Research focused on pedestrian injuries and fatalities resulting from automobile collisions shows that the pedestrian mortality rate doubles when the speed of a car at time of impact is increased from 20 to 25 miles per hour. 

Learn More

Image of the cover of City Limits: Setting Safe Speed Limits For Urban Streets


Click here to download City Limits, Setting Safe Speed Limits on Urban Streets, a report by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO).



Read the ProPublica article, "Unsafe at Many Speeds: Your risk of getting killed by a car goes up with every mile per hour," by Lena V. GBroeger May 25 2016.

Read "Impact Speed and a pedestrian's risk of severe injury or death," by Brian C. Tefft published in Accident Analysis & Prevention, Volume 50, January 2013. 

Three Graphs that Explain Why 20 MPH Should be the Limit on City Streets