Those holding the reins in E-Town are once again debating the merits of lowering speed limits on local, residential streets.
Proponents of the change want to see a 40 km/h city-wide maximum on local and collector roads, with the exception of those same streets in core neighbourhoods, which would be slapped with a 30 km/h limit. Most streets currently have a 50 km/h limit.
It was decided this week in council where, after an interminable debate, 10 of 13 councillors voted in favour of a blanket 40 km/h rule. Six councillors voted against the 30 km/h motion, some of whom were in favour of a single-tier limit as a starting point.
Given timelines set forth by council, it's likely the new limits should come into effect in January 2020, assuming it passes successfully through the Byzantine network of votes that is Edmonton city council. Supporters of the change are already celebrating.
A citizen group promoting the hashtag #yegCoreZone on social media say these lower speed limits will increase livability in the city, especially in the core. If you're wondering, that area is suggested to be roughly from 118th Avenue in the north to 61st Avenue and Argyll Road in the south; and from 142nd Street in the west to 75th Street to the east. Under the old rules, only playground areas are 30 km/h zones.
WHOA! Great to read the good news while I'm away in Toronto. Congrats to #yegCoreZone
citizens for your vision and hard work! pic.twitter.com/REs3WDiXpL
— Donna Fong (@FongPageNews) May 15, 2019
Elsewhere in the country, Ontario just approved an increase
in speed limits, albeit ones on major highways where most drivers are zipping by at those velocities anyway.
Our own Lorraine Sommerfeld
mused on the subject a couple of days ago, doing a great job outlining decision factors and attempting to 'unbundle the ball of knots' that make up the speed limit debate. Predictably, some readers went into nuclear orbit while others had a more measured response.
Additional safety measures, especially in residential areas where children play, are noble efforts. Any parent worth their salt would accept a slightly slower drive if it meant little Johnny could ride his bike safely. It's worth remembering, however, that speed limits are like glitter: once you've got 'em, it's unlikely you'll get rid of 'em.