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.