Calgary committee looking at lower speed limits in residential zones
Published Wednesday, January 20, 2016 5:17AM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 20, 2016 6:31PM MST
A city committee is considering lowering residential speed limits as part of a plan to make Calgary more walk-able.
The pedestrian safety strategy, coined ‘Step Forward’ aims to overhaul the city’s current pedestrian plan, with many councilors saying that reducing the residential speed limit from 50 km/h down to 40 km/h will cut down on the amount of pedestrian crashes.
In 2014, the city says more than 200 people were hit and sent to hospital. Seven other people were killed.
The reduced speed limit is just one of the many recommendations being looked at, including the installation of additional crossing lights, building mid-block crossings and improving snow and ice control around crosswalk areas.
The committee has a long list to go through; there are nearly 50 items in total.
Of course, the new strategy will come at a cost, with the city earmarking $15M for short-term plans over the next three years and a $2.5M annual operating cost.
Calgarians say the idea of a reduced speed limit is good, especially because there are often children in residential areas. "People need to drive better," says one man. "That's about how I feel about that."
Another man says he sees a lot of accidents and the rule change may help. "It makes senses. There are a lot of accidents, a lot of people drive over the speed limit anyway so it'll even out a little bit. People normally go 5, 10 over safely so if you lower that it could potentially be a better limit than 50."
One woman also agrees, saying that anything can happen in residential areas and drivers need to be aware. "Children can pop out from between vehicles and you may not have enough time to react at 50 km/h."
A decision on the plan has been put over to April.