Medford cuts speed limits to 10 in most city parks

The Medford City Council Thursday enacted 10 mph speed limits for 37 out of 38 of the city's parks to replace the default speed limit of 25 mph set by the state.

Prescott Park in northeast Medford is the exception. Because of the park's long access road, the speed limit was set at 20 mph.

The limits apply to parking lots and roadways within city parks, including Eastwood Cemetery, 1581 Siskiyou Blvd.

"This is a precautionary measure," said Medford police Deputy Chief Tim George. "It is more about awareness than enforcement so that people watch how fast they're going. We don't work a lot of radar in city parks."

Thursday marked the first time the city has set speed limits for parks.

The speed limit signs, which cost about $1,000 total, are expected to be posted by mid-August, said Brian Sjothun, parks and recreation director.

The change arose from fresh concerns about park safety stemming from a growth in the number of park visitors, the addition of parks where vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic intermingle and a spike in vandalism, George said.

"This is another opportunity for us to deal with folks who are not in parks for the right purpose," he said.

Of particular concern is the new U.S. Cellular Community Park, 300 Lowry Lane, frequented by vehicles, bikes and pedestrians.

"It's got a little bit of a longer road into it from South Pacific Highway," George said.

"Especially this time of year, you have a lot of mixed use. Unfortunately, the lug-nut rule applies: Those with the least lug nuts fare worst in an accident, so you really want to restrict the speed of those with all the lug nuts. They need to slow down and yield to pedestrians and bicyclists."

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or

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