Update On Residential Speed Zones

Over the past few years, my colleagues on Council and I have heard an overwhelming request from communities asking that we look into lowering speed limits in residential neighbourhoods.

As a result of the feedback from many residents, discussion, research from administration, and because Edmonton is a Vision Zero City, Council is deliberating on whether or not to change speed limits in neighbourhoods to 40km/h throughout the entire City so that every community can become safer or lowering speed limits in the city’s Core Zone to 30km/h. We are considering these decisions because we want to use all the tools in our toolbox to keep road users safe, no matter the method they interact with the road.

We recognize that some neighbourhood collector roads were designed to be driven faster than 40km/h, and so, we will be looking at them on an individual basis and adjusting them accordingly.

Making changes to infrastructure and traffic-safety culture takes time, however, we will begin the process by implementing the 5 E’s of traffic safety:

Engagement: We want to make sure we hear from residents and make a plan based on feedback and best practices. We began looking into this plan because of the many residents who have contacted us over the years asking for speed limits to be lowered in residential neighbourhoods.

Education:Along with any new changes to our bylaws it’s important that we teach drivers and other road users about the new rules and allow time for adjustment.

Engineering:We want to build roads in a way that will encourage people to slow down naturally. We will continue to add safety elements such as crosswalks and flashing lights where needed as well as look into other speed reduction options.

Enforcement:Once there has been a time of adjustment we will begin to enforce the new rules for those who refuse to comply using photo radar. Council cannot direct the police, however, EPS will conduct their own enforcement.

Evaluation: We will look at how everything is working and make tweaks where they need to be made while listening to residents’ concerns.

We are still in the process of collecting feedback. If you would like to share your thoughts please feel free to register to speak on the city website.

Traffic Safety Is Speeding Up

The issues around traffic safety are coming before council again in February. Safety will be at the center of this discussion and it is important that we are all aware how very complex it is. We have heard from residents consistently that safety in neighbourhoods is important.

The challenge in this is, of course, everyone supports safety but no one likes to be inconvenienced. As this issue comes to council in February, this is going to be a challenging conversation, the priority needs to be common sense spending with fiscal restraint. Balancing the approach to safety with residential speed, with more crosswalks, left-turn lights, and other methods of control.

Safety is the priority. Speed limits are an important aspect of traffic safety because speed is an undeniable factor in the frequency and outcome of every collision. Slowing down while driving gives drivers more time to react to the unexpected and helps them to avoid collisions. Reducing residential speeds can contribute to safe, livable streets and help us reach our goal of Vision Zero. Reducing speed limits can make our streets calmer, quieter, and safer for people walking, biking, driving, and enjoying their neighborhood. This impacts the quality of living all over our great city.

Currently, the City is considering 2 different approaches to reducing speed limits. The first, a default speed limit of 40 km/h for residential roads throughout Edmonton. The second, a default speed limit of 30 km/h for residential roads within the Core Zone, made up of the neighborhoods in central Edmonton. Stretching from 118th Ave to 61st Ave and 142nd St to 75th St.

The City is also considering reducing speed limits on main streets such as Whyte Avenue, Jasper Avenue, and other high pedestrian areas.

We know your time is important and the City’s goal is to make changes that have very little impact on trip times. Don’t worry, the speed limits on major roads you use to get around the city are not changing.

Your input is valued and any adjustments to the existing speed limits will require final approval by City Council. You have a voice and it is valuable! You can provide your input on speed limit changes on February 26. This is where Administration will present information on each approach to Council at the Community and Public Services Committee.

You can find more information at edmonton.ca/safespeeds.

Winter Is Upon Us!

Winter is in full swing which means the Holiday season is upon us and we are knocking on the door of the New Year! It’s an exciting season!

But, once the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping has died down, once we’ve recovered from the chaos of Black Friday, holiday parties, and in-laws, what do we do with our time?

Edmonton is a winter city. We have big winters. This means we always have great options to get outdoors and have a blast with tons of family-friendly options and activities.

Here are just a few of the amazing and fun things available for family-friendly excitement in January and beyond!

Triple Down Terrain park Competition Series

A fun freestyle competition for all ages! Rabbit Hill Snow Resort (January 19), Sunridge Ski Area (February 9) and Snow Valley Ski Club (March 3) host this series to encourage riders to try different parks, each with unique features. See participating hills for full details.

FIS World Snow Day – Jan. 19, 2020 / 10am – 2pm

International Ski Federation’s ‘Bring Children to the Snow’ day. There will be giveaways, hot chocolate, an obstacle course, scavenger hunt, and plenty more!

Winterruption YEG – Jan. 23 – 26, 2020

The first annual Winterruption YEG festival! This is going to be a great multi-venue festival filled with indoor and outdoor music and arts!

YEG Hot Chocolate Fest – Jan. 31 – Feb. 16, 2020

Is there anything better than an incredible cup of hot chocolate in the middle of our coldest months? Enjoy hot chocolate treats at various cafes throughout the city with funds raised going to Easter Seals of Northern Alberta.

Front Yards in Bloom: Winterscapes! – Feb. 1 – 17, 2020

What better way to spend time outside with the family and kiddos than getting creative with our most abundant resource in winter; SNOW! Embrace your winter creativity with #FYIBwinterscapes! Brighten your neighbourhood by making a wintry wonderland with lights, plants, snow, and ice!

There is so much to do in our wonderful city in the winter! From happening at our local rec centres, to Community League functions, and outdoor skating all around Edmonton, there is truly something for everyone this winter. Now get out and enjoy this epic season!