Town of Sidney to consider joining pilot project that would lower speed limits on residential roads

Town of Sidney to consider joining pilot project that would lower speed limits on residential roads
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District of Saanich and Town of Sidney could reduce their speed limits on residential streets by 10 km/hr as part of a joint pilot project.

The District of Saanich wants the Town of Sidney to join them in an initiative that could ultimately see speed limits on residential roads reduced.

On April 27, Town of Sidney councillors will vote on a request from the District of Saanich to participate in a pilot project that would see the two municipalities reduce their speed limits on residential streets by 10 km/hr.

According to a staff report, if Sidney were to participate in the project, streets without a yellow center line would see their speeds drop from 50 km/hr to 40 km/hr.

Streets that are currently 30 km/hr would remain that way.

The report suggests that the project would be a good opportunity for Sidney to test a reduction in speed on its residential streets and the staff “consistently receive complaints” about the speed limit.

The pilot project is a District of Saanich-driven initiative that, if successful, could expand to other communities and could potentially result in the province’s standard speed limit for residential roads being reduced across B.C.

Municipalities can enact bylaws that would change the speed limit on their streets, however, the process can be “an administrative burden” according to District of Saanich.

Saanich’s pilot project is still in the development phase and would need to be submitted to the ministry of transportation and infrastructure for approval, which the municipality says it intends to do later this year.

In a letter to Sidney town council, the District of Saanich said the two municipalities have a “vast number of residential roads” without sidewalks and that it is “simply inappropriate for a driver to legally operate their vehicle at 50 km/hr with children walking and cycling” along the same road.

Saanich wants Sidney to join and help develop the pilot project as it would “highlight the regional importance of the issue and to maintain consistency.”

Vancouver Island’s largest municipality also noted in its letter that while it is “technically and legally” possible to create bylaws to reduce speed limits, it would be “far easier” if the province amended motor vehicle act.

If Sidney town councillors approve the Saanich’s request, it would allow staff from both municipalities to begin working on the pilot project, but it would not guarantee that the project gets approved by the province or that the town would even have to participate in it if it were approved.

Last year, the provincial government amended the motor vehicle act to give municipalities the ability to bring forward pilot project proposals, like the one that Saanich wants to conduct.





Nicholas PescodNicholas Pescod

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