WATCH: What do you think about lowering the residential speed limit in Victoria? That’s where the mayor says she wants to see it brought to thirty in some areas. The commitment is all part of her bid for re-election, and while some may support it others warn there could also be backlash. Luisa Alvarez has the reaction.
The speed limit on residential streets is currently 50km/h but Friday, mayor Lisa helps announced changing that would be one of her key re-election platform commitments.
Helps wants low-traffic neighborhood streets reduced down to 30km/h.
“This is an idea that comes from meeting in peoples living rooms around their kitchen tables in the last 3-4 months and over and over and over I heard from parents it’s important that the streets are safe for my kids,” said Helps.
But when it comes to safety some don’t believe just lowering the speed limit would be enough.
“I think that a more beneficial or a proactive approach is to add speed bumps cause people don’t listen to a speed sign nobody is here to enforce it but if you go over a speed bump and your car bumper falls off you’re going to slow down,” said Victoria resident Anna Stdeneis
Former Victoria city Councillor Shellie Gudgeon who in 2014 was part of the push to lower the speed limit to 40 km/h on downtown streets was surprised at Help’s announcement.
“Councillor Isitt and I worked very hard to have a blanket 40/km speed limit in the city of Victoria and we received no public help from mayor Helps so I’m a little bit surprised that this is happening right now,” said Gudgeon.
Gudgeon also says the backlash they received back then was intense and warns that Helps should be very careful with the consultation process.
“I’ve never seen Victoria so divided that it currently is and I think mayor Helps should learn and rather than having personal invites to kitchen table cabinet meetings she could perhaps have a town hall on speed limits in the city and actually talk to all the residents in the city and encourage them to come out and share their views,” said Gudgeon
If implemented the speed limit would not change on major artery streets that see 18,000 or more cars per day such as Bay or Blanchard.
The speed reduction would only apply to local streets that see 1,000 cars per day or less.
This map on Help’s blog shows which streets would be affected.
Gudgeon thinks 40km/h still addresses the issue of speed but meets commuters that use those streets in the middle.
“I think 30 kilometres is a little extreme, it will divide the population,” said Gudgeon.
Helps says on top of signage there would be education and tactical enforcement.