Candidates for city council debate residential speed limit reductions

The Alberta government could be handing Edmonton a hot potato when it gives city council the right to set default speed limits this fall.

Although 58 per cent of candidates running for city council this election support reducing speed limits on all residential roads, there’s no agreement yet on whether that speed should be 30 km/h or 40 km/h, and many others are solidly against a reduction.

“I’m not convinced that lowering the speed limit will lead to the decrease in residential speeding,” said Ward 5 candidate Sarah Hamilton, asking why city officials wouldn’t first listen to frequent resident requests for simple deterrents, like adding painted lines, a crosswalk, or signals.

“Safety is a shared responsibility and we need to stop demonizing drivers for everything that happens on our roads,” said Ward 4 candidate Tricia Velthuizen, suggesting cyclists and pedestrians need to take responsibility, too.

Fifteen per cent of the 67 candidates who answered the Edmonton Journal survey said there should be no change to residential speed limits. Twenty-two per cent were undecided, or said there needs to be more research and consultation before moving ahead.

How would candidates vote on speed limits?

With new 30 km/h speed limits around schools and playgrounds, Edmonton is gaining a patchwork of allowed speeds across the city. Some suggest it would be simpler to have a lower speed on all residential roads, since children also play in front of their homes and walk from their homes to the playground.

Those in favour of the change say it would add seconds to most commutes to drive slower from a house to the main collector road or bus route.

But others still say they have unanswered questions.

Ward 7 candidate Liz John-West said she’d like to know how many collisions are taking place on residential streets now, and how this …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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