Poll says most Vancouver Islanders support lower residential speed limits


A new survey has found an increasing number of British Columbians are in favour of reducing speed limits in residential neighbourhoods.

A representative online survey found two-thirds of British Columbians, or 66 per cent, favour reducing the speed limit from 50 kilometres an hour to 30.

That’s eight percentage points higher than from 2019.

The pollster says the pandemic has shifted people’s feelings with more people working from home.

“Who maybe didn’t notice how much people were speeding outside of their homes and when you’re working from home you’re more likely to be noticing some of these things and we have 39 per cent of B.C. residents who say that they see somebody speeding outside of their home at least once a day,” said Mario Canseco, President of Research Co.

In Nanaimo, Tyler Brown is among the city councillors who have been advocating for such a move.

“The research is pretty clear that where there is an impact or collision, especially with a pedestrian or cyclist or in the most tragic circumstances, a kid, your chances of survival beyond 30 kilometres an hour or serious injury greatly decrease,” said Brown.

Residential roads that would drop to a 30-kilometre an-hour speed limit often don’t have a centre line. Arterial roads and collector roads, that see more traffic, would remain at a 50-kilometre per hour speed limit.

In Saanich, council wants to reduce its residential speed limits.

The pollster says 58 per cent of those surveyed on Vancouver Island supported the change.

“It is the lowest in all of the regions. The level is actually higher in southern British Columbia and the north in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley,” said Canseco.

And it may also surprise you that the older generation is the most hesitant.

“The level of support for the lower speed limit in residential areas is actually higher with the 18- to 34-year-olds, then it’s a little bit lower with Generation X and it’s actually the lowest with the over 55’s,” said Canseco.

In Nanaimo Saturday, many supported lowering speed limits on residential streets.

“I think it makes a lot of sense for kids and pets,” said Amy Finlay, a Nanaimo resident.

“My gut reaction is yeah makes sense seems safer to drive slower,” said Alex Churchman, who also lives in Nanaimo.

The pollster says the results show it’s a well-supported move crossing political lines.

The online study was taken in early June and was statistically weighted for age, gender and region in British Columbia.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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