30 km/h speed limit will hit more Saanich streets this summer

30 km/h speed limit will hit more Saanich streets this summer

Saanich council is moving into phase two of its pilot project that will reduce the speed limit in some of its streets.

On Monday, the council unanimously approved amendments to its Streets and Traffic Regulation bylaw, with a 30 kilometres per hour speed limit taking effect in some of Saanich’s residential areas this summer.

In July 2022, Saanich council adopted the Speed Limit Establishment Policy, which allows them to review and reduce speed limits on Type A and Type B streets throughout the district over time.

On its website, the district identifies Type A streets as those without a continuous yellow centre line or streets where a neighbourhood bikeway exists or is proposed in the Active Transportation Plan. with a maximum speed limit of 30 km/h.

Type B streets are streets with a continuous yellow centre line or those not defined as Type A streets. Their maximum speed will be set based on the findings of a Safe Speed Study.

“Our speed limit establishment policy is all about increasing road safety by reducing speeds in key areas,” said Teale Phelps Bondaroff, councillor and chair of the Active Transportation Advisory Committee.

“When vulnerable road users are struck by vehicles going over 30 or 50 km/h, their survival rates significantly goes down and the rate of serious injuries significantly goes up.”

Monday’s council vote aligns with Saanich’s goal to eliminate all traffic injuries and fatalities while ensuring safe, healthy and equitable mobility for all road users.

“This second phase of slower streets is part of a larger program in Saanich to make our municipality a Vision Zero community,” said Coun. Colin Plant.

The district says its initial focus was with nine priority corridors in phase one and with phase two, the 30 km/h speed limit will now include portions of the Gorge-Tillicum and Saanich panhandle neighbourhoods.

Answering the council’s query on additional communications to alert people on the new speed limit, Saanich engineering director Harley Machielse said, “Our communication lies with the social media campaign work that we do as we go through the implementation and content that we put on our website.”

“Beyond that much of the signs can speak for themselves in the neighbourhoods and we do have new tabs that we add to corridors where we’re implementing recent changes in speed limits.”

Saanich said the overall feedback from phase one has been positive with most residents eager to have additional roadways with appropriate speed limits included in future phases.

“We know that reduced speeds alone or new traffic signs alone are not going to be the solution to improving road safety in Saanich. It’s a combination of speed reduction, design, enforcement and ensuring that we’re all committed to the outcome of Vision Zero, which is eliminating deaths and serious injuries on our road,” said Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock.

Murdock also recently issued a letter to the editor that includes some sentiments regarding general road safety.


Harry CorroHarry Corro

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