The San Jose City Council’s Rules and Open Government Committee this afternoon unanimously voted to move forward with a proposal to lower speed limits around schools.

The action allows city staff to examine the impact and cost of lowering the posted speed limits around public and private schools on residential streets to 15 mph.

Last year the City Council passed a proposal by Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio to lower the speed limit near Trace Elementary School to make it safer for students to cross the street while the school’s main building was being rebuilt following an arson fire.

The city reduced the speed limit from 25 mph to 15 mph on Dana Avenue, adjacent to Trace Elementary School, Hoover Middle School, and Lincoln High School, during school hours.

The speed limit change was allowed under a 2008 state law that gives cities the opportunity to create 15 mph zones around schools on two-lane roads where the speed limit is 30 mph or less.

Oliverio said the speed reduction there was well received by residents and now he wants to expand the policy around other schools in the city.

“It will provide a safe environment for students, promote more bicycling and walking, and make neighborhoods adjacent to schools more livable,” Oliverio said.

The San Jose Department of Transportation maintains that engineering and traffic surveys are necessary for each location, but Oliverio said San Francisco recently announced it would lower the speed limit adjacent to 200 schools after deciding that those studies are not required as part of the state law.

The matter will next go before the City Council in October.