Speed limit signs come in a variety of numbers. 70 on the highways, 55 on state roads, 25 in residential areas, 15 in school zones. The general rule of thumb is multiples of 5 for a speed limit. So why 19?

You'll find the 19 mile per hour signs on Rivers Edge Drive in Portland. It's a very nice neighborhood. You might also say a wealthy one. Here's the story we heard.


Rivers Edge Drive is a short street that ends in a cul-de-sac and isn't maintained by the City of Portland. So the association of Rivers Edge Drive put up their own speed limit signs.

Until recently, the limit was 15 miles per hour as seen in this photo from 2009.

Google Street View

The problem was, as tends to happen with limits on speed, people ignore them and no one seemed to want to drive just 15 miles per hour. Kids are often playing in this neighborhood, so for their safety a slow speed limit was necessary. Someone thought that 19 would get more attention, so there it is.

Again, this is what we hear. The actual reason could be totally different, but this makes sense. Right? If the Turnpike changed the speed limit to 74, everyone would drive no faster than that right? Sure they would. We wonder if this has helped.