In the last couple of day, there have been a couple of articles reminding us that school is starting and motorists should drive carefully around schools. The Madison Police Dept. put out a press release, so I assume the articles were generated from that. Some also mention that the MPD will be enforcing speed limits and other traffic laws in school zones.
This is good, because everyone using the roads should be aware of kids going to and from school. And the article mention that we should "slow down." They are even starting to mention that motorists (and bicyclists, too) need to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.
But something is missing, and it is bugging me that this little fact is left out. Neither the MPD press release nor any of the articles mention that the speed limit in school zones in Madison is 20 mph. It doesn't matter if that yellow sign is on Midvale Blvd, Milwaukee St, E Washington, or Regent St. No matter what the speed limit is at other times, or how fast the rest of the cars are going, when there are children present, the speed limit is 20 mph.
There are two schools on Midvale Blvd, also two schools on Regent St in a one mile stretch. Milwaukee St has several school zones strung together. And East High School, where two students were killed crossing the street, sits right on East Washington. And I have driven at 20 mph through each of these area, with kids present, and had people tailgate me, pass me unsafely on a 2-lane road, and generally been subjected to the treated as if I was trying to be a public menace.
You think you get dirty looks as a bicyclist riding in the middle of traffic? Try driving the speed limit past a school!