Edmonton to consider lowering speed limits in residential neighbourhoods

WATCH ABOVE: New speed limit signs are going up around Edmonton playgrounds. As Kim Smith reports, the city will also soon consider whether to lower the speed limit in all residential neighbourhoods.

In the new year, Edmonton city council will look at possibly lowering speed limits across all residential neighbourhoods.

Most maximum speed limits in residential neighbourhoods are 50 kilometres per hour but in a few neighbourhoods, including Ottewell, Woodcroft and King Edward Park, the limit is 40 km/h.

READ MORE: 30 km/h speed limit signs starting to go up around Edmonton playgrounds

“People are more aware what’s going on around them,” Sonny Laboucan said on Friday. Laboucan has a daughter at school in King Edward Park. “It makes me feel safer too because if there was any incident, there’s less chance injury would happen to the victim.

“Everybody has kids. We all want them to be safe.”

Kristin Gibson lives in Old Strathcona and has a five-year-old son. She said she wished the speed limit in her area was 40 km/h.

“Fifty can easily cruise into 60 whereas when people see 40, it’s different.” she said. “It’s something that they’re like, ‘Oh, I better slow down. There’s obviously a reason for this.'”

READ MORE: Edmonton photo radar revenue down by $3M; drivers speeding less

However, Sandra L’Ecuyer, secretary of the Ottewell Community League, estimates only 50 per cent of drivers in her neighbourhood obey the 40 km/h speed limit.

“It probably is about 50 per cent (compliance). It works and it doesn’t,” L’Ecuyer said. “I think it depends on where you live in the community. If you live on one of the commuter roads, then the speed is probably higher there.”

A report will go before the the urban planning committee in January regarding a plan to move forward on a new default speed limit.

L’Ecuyer said if Edmonton brought in a blanket residential speed limit, she believes drivers would slow down in Ottewell.

“I think if everyone was 40 km/h, then I think it would be an overall consensus that Edmonton is slowing down in general,” she said.

City council voted unanimously on Tuesday to enact a 30 km/h speed limit around Edmonton playgrounds. Crews hope to have all 425 playgrounds and play areas marked by the end of the year.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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