Over the past few years, my colleagues on Council and I have heard an overwhelming request from communities asking that we look into lowering speed limits in residential neighbourhoods.
As a result of the feedback from many residents, discussion, research from administration, and because Edmonton is a Vision Zero City, Council is deliberating on whether or not to change speed limits in neighbourhoods to 40km/h throughout the entire City so that every community can become safer or lowering speed limits in the city’s Core Zone to 30km/h. We are considering these decisions because we want to use all the tools in our toolbox to keep road users safe, no matter the method they interact with the road.
We recognize that some neighbourhood collector roads were designed to be driven faster than 40km/h, and so, we will be looking at them on an individual basis and adjusting them accordingly.
Making changes to infrastructure and traffic-safety culture takes time, however, we will begin the process by implementing the 5 E’s of traffic safety:
Engagement: We want to make sure we hear from residents and make a plan based on feedback and best practices. We began looking into this plan because of the many residents who have contacted us over the years asking for speed limits to be lowered in residential neighbourhoods.
Education: Along with any new changes to our bylaws it’s important that we teach drivers and other road users about the new rules and allow time for adjustment.
Engineering: We want to build roads in a way that will encourage people to slow down naturally. We will continue to add safety elements such as crosswalks and flashing lights where needed as well as look into other speed reduction options.
Enforcement: Once there has been a time of adjustment we will begin to enforce the new rules for those who refuse to comply using photo radar. Council cannot direct the police, however, EPS will conduct their own enforcement.
Evaluation: We will look at how everything is working and make tweaks where they need to be made while listening to residents’ concerns.
We are still in the process of collecting feedback. If you would like to share your thoughts please feel free to register to speak on the city website.