Capital Region mayors to make push to lower residential speed limits

Capital Region mayors to make push to lower residential speed limits
WatchHow fast people are driving on side roads around the CRD has been an issue several mayors have been attempting to tackle for years. But now after multiple failed attempts, they may finally get their wish.

Drivers across the Capital Region may soon have to ease up on the gas pedal while cruising down residential roads.

Ten different mayors, led by Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes, are looking to launch a pilot project to reduce the speed limit from 50km/h to 40 km/h on all residential roads.

“What’s the sense of safety in our residential areas, parents with young children, elderly people who want to go for a stroll and don’t feel safe on their streets.” Said Haynes.

Haynes has pushed for reduced limits before but was turned down by the province. But now under the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s new Motor Vehicle Act amendment, proposals for pilot projects to reduce speed limits are expected to be welcomed this fall.

“If we can adjust road speeds, reduce accident severity, it would help ICBC, it would help our medical costs, it would help adjustments to climate change, it would encourage people to cycle and walk and take transit,” Haynes said.

Currently, municipalities can alter speed limits within their own communities without needing approval from the province, but in a region with 13 municipalities, many feel it makes sense to adopt a uniform limit. Among them is Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch who says his staff determined 40 is the magic number.

“We just really wanted to make sure that people are for the most part are driving the appropriate speed, so just setting the speed limit there basically makes it a bit more publicly aware that those speed limits are appropriate and that 40 kilometres an hour is the right maximum speed to drive on those side roads,” said Murdoch.

The details of the three-year project, including when exactly it would start and which municipalities would be included are still being worked out.

Ben NesbitBen Nesbit

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