Council Memo

Adoption of Ordinance No. 5046-1586 to set a speed limit of fifteen miles per hour (15 MPH) in City-owned alleys. The cost of the speed limit signs assuming 2 per alley segment (in alleys owned by the City) is estimated to be $43,095.00.


Department:City ManagerSponsors:
Category:Ordinance Adoption


  1. Printout
  2. Ordinance No. 5046-1586 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  3. Alley Segments Map
  4. Sign Estimate Work Order

Document Comments

Recommended Action: MOVE to adopt Ordinance No. 5046-1586.


Item Summary


This ordinance amends Title IX, Chapter 9-1, Section 9-1-16, of the Prescott City Code by adding a new subsection 9-1-16(J) setting a fifteen mile per hour (15 m.p.h.) speed limit in alleys located in the City limits for the best interests of the health, safety and welfare of the City of Prescott.


This speed limit would only apply to City-owned alleys. Private alleys would not be subject to any City speed limit.


Financial Impact


The cost of the speed limit signs assuming 2 per alley segment (in alleys owned by the City) is estimated to be $43,095.00. The estimated cost of each sign and installation would be $276.25 ($92.36 labor costs and $124.39 of material costs) with a total of 156 signs.


This assumes the signs will be mounted and placed in the ground. According to the estimate the sign post is $45.19 of the overall cost per sign.

Meeting History

Sep 12, 2017 3:00 PM Video City Council Voting Meeting
draft Draft

Michael Lamar, City Manager, said the Mayor had brought this concern to the staff’s attention regarding speeding becoming an issue in alleyways and in order for the City to do something they had to have something in place and posted and this would add a regulation in the City Code.

Mayor Oberg said he had received several complaints regarding cars driving with excessive speed down the narrow alleyways, where most of the residents have garages and back out into the alleyways. They found out that by state law if not posted the speed limit is 25 Miles per Hour (MPH).

Mr. Paladini said the law specifies if a speed limit sign is not posited the speed limit is 25 (MPH) and the City has to adopt an ordinance in order to lower the speed limit and it had to posted in order for it to be enforced.

Mayor Pro Tem Lamerson said what his concern was the enforceability with the limited amount of police officers. He wanted to make sure the speed limit was for skateboards and bicycles on anyone that was using public right-of-ways. Mr. Paladini said it was for bicycles but he did not know if it was for skateboards it was mainly for vehicles that could go that fast. Mayor Pro Tem Lamerson said for motorized skateboards and is skateboards legal on the street. Mr. Paladini said in this particular context they were only talking about City owned alleyways, and if they do not adopt the ordinance the speed limit would be 25 MPH it would be the default, the ordinance if adopted would lower the speed limit to 15 MPH, but only where they are posted, and it would take thirty days before it would take effect.

Councilwoman Wilcox said did support the adoption of the ordinance but in the past when they had a complaint of excessive speed on a street they had to have a traffic study performed and had to be justified. She asked why they could lower the speed limit without a traffic study. Mr. Paladini said they are talking about alleyways being posted it contemplates reasonable and prudent speed is the rule and they could cite someone if it icy and they are going 15 MPH because of the reasonable and prudent rule. He said there is no legal requirement to adopt an ordinance but this is limited to just alleyway.

Councilwoman Wilcox said other roads like Willow Creek Road needed a lower speed limit. Mr. Paladini said for this particular item it was a discussion for alleyways and if they wanted to discuss roads in a work session you could set up something with Mr. Mattingly.

Mr. Mattingly said the speed limit in residential and business districts is 25 MPH and when they want to lower the speed limit they are varying from the standard and that is why they would have conduct an engineering study and it does talk about that in the revised statue and it was how they set forth the variation. Alleyways are usually posted 15 MPH and most states have this in there statue, but Arizona does not, and they have to pass an ordinance. In this case this was a lot of signs and a lot of money passing the ordinance does not necessarily mean they have to post every alleyway, but in order to enforce it; it would have to be posted. They could pass the ordinance and address it when they had a need to post, and he recommended doing this.

Councilman Sischka said $43,000 was not chump change and they would be absolutely crazy to post every single alleyway, if passing this ordinance would take care of the problem alleyways then it will take care of the situation. These alleys are naturally narrow should it not calm the traffic speed, going 25 MPH is almost a death wish and they were not paying attention to their surroundings. He could not support spending this amount of money on alleyway posting.

Mr. Mattingly said sometimes when they see a speed limit sign they go faster then they usually do he was encouraging to post as needed. Councilman Blair said he agreed it was a waste of money, he did not see a need to post unless it was an actual problem. Councilwoman Orr she agreed with Mr. Mattingly recommendation to pass the ordinance to say 15 MPH is fine, but put up signs, if only there was a problem.

Sandra Smith, citizen said there are certain alleyways that are narrow and she had spoken about this with Councilwoman Orr. Councilwoman Orr said she had spoken with Ms. Smith and they spoke about putting up mirrors for blind spots.

Mr. Mattingly said they have ordered stenciling for sidewalks. Ms. Smith asked if they could stencil the speed limit instead of posting. Mr. Mattingly said no, it would not be considered posting.

Councilwoman Orr asked if it could go back to the Bicycle and Pedestrian committee with recommendation for certain areas. Mayor Oberg said they could bring this up at the next Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee.

MOVER:Greg Lazzell, Councilman
SECONDER:Jean Wilcox, Councilwoman
AYES:Harry Oberg, Jim Lamerson, Steve Blair, Greg Lazzell, Billie Orr, Steve Sischka, Jean Wilcox