My Decision on Residential Speed Limit Reductions

January 29, 2021

The single biggest issue I hear from constituents across Ward 6 relates to safety concerns on our streets. For nearly a decade, the City of Calgary has debated how we can make our residential streets safer.

City Administration has presented their final report and it shows that not only will this program increase safety on our residential streets, but that in doing so, we will save millions.

You can find the report here.

After careful consultation with Ward 6’s community associations, hundreds of residents and with roads experts, the path forward is very clear - I will support moving the speed limit on residential streets to 40km/hr. It is the right thing to do for safety, and for significant cost savings.

The proposal DOES NOT extend to “Boulevards”, “Drives”, “Ways”, or “Streets”. Think of it this way: if there is no painted line or divider on the road, the speed can change. These changes do not apply to collector roads or major roadways – and no, not every road currently marked 50 km/h will be changed.

For clarity, the attached image highlights which roads would be affected in Ward 6.

Residential Speed Limits Draft.jpg

Every year, there are 18 major injury or death collisions and approximately 270 total collisions on residential streets. The societal impact is estimated to be at least $8.1 Million annually. This proposal will cost about $2 million out of the existing safety budget to implement. To be clear there is no new cost to tax payers as the money will be redirected from less impactful safety initiatives.

In talking to our community associations, 8 out of 10 Ward 6 Community Associations support reducing the residential speed limit to 40km/hr. I have also had many conversations with counterparts across the Country on this issue. The Cities of Edmonton, Toronto and Airdrie have all implemented similar proposals, and the City of Winnipeg is now in the process. Communities across Canada have figured out there is a way to save money and make our streets safer – so why are we holding back?

I want to acknowledge there are many in the community that feel this is not needed.

I campaigned on safer streets and smart spending – this change addresses both.

For the majority of these residential streets, these changes won’t be noticed as affected streets are primarily those in front of our homes. The places where our children play, where we walk our pets and have conversations with our neighbours.

I will also not be supporting a plebiscite on the issue. Plebiscites are costly and information can quickly become misrepresented. In addition, there is currently no existing funding to establish an education program to further present the facts to Calgarians should the plebiscite be approved. Through extensive consultation with Ward 6 residents, I have heard them loud and clear. While I am aware that not everyone in the community will agree with this decision, I am confident that this decision is for the betterment of all Ward 6 residents, and all Calgarians.

Finally, I wish to apologize to every Calgarian that has had a family member injured or killed on residential roads while City Council balked on making a decision. I also want to thank you for sharing your painful personal stories with Council. On this issue, it was incredibly important to hear about the real life negative impact that speed has had on many Calgarians.

All Calgarians deserve better, and I hope our Council has the courage and convictions to make a meaningful decision on this matter.

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