CALGARY – City councillors have voted in favour of a $200,000 public engagement plan that will offer Calgarians an opportunity to have their say on whether or not the speed limits in residential neighbourhoods should be reduced.

Three options to reduce speed limits in Calgary were presented to council’s transportation and transit committee last month with the hope of making streets safer for drivers and pedestrians. 

The potential scenarios would see speed limit reductions not only in residential areas but also on collector roads that move traffic from local streets onto major thoroughfares.

The three suggested options are:

An overall reduction to 30km/h on both residential and collector roads 

  • Greatest reduction in collisions
  • Requires significant motivation to driving environment
  • Consistent speeds in neighbourhoods that align with international best practice

A reduction to 30 km/h on residential roads and 50 km/h on collector roads 

  • Least reduction in collisions
  • Requires some traffic calming
  • Inconsistent speeds across residential neighbourhoods

A reduction to 40km/h on both residential and collector roads

  • Moderate reduction in collisions
  • Requires significant modification to driving environments
  • Constant speeds across residential neighbourhoods  

The city committee has reviewed reports on all three options. The public consultation period will commence in early 2020 and a final report will be presented to council before the end of June next year.

The $200,000 cost of the public engagement is slated to come from the existing safety and community mobility budgets.

The cost of implementing any specific option is not yet known but the city hopes reducing the number of collisions will actually save money in the long run. The city said around 35,000 collisions occur in Calgary every year, approximately 10,000 of which happen in residential neighbourhoods. 

In 2018, collisions cost the Calgary economy $1.19 billion. 

A city report also suggests a blanket speed limit of 30 km/h would result in 10 to 20 per cent fewer residential road collisions.