Vancouver wants to lower speed limit on side streets to 30 km/h

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Published May 14, 2019 3:00 p.m. ET
Updated May 14, 2019 10:37 p.m. ET
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Vancouver City Council has approved a pilot project that will see the speed limit dropped to 30 km/h on residential side streets.

The motion was passed unanimously.

It comes after a motion from Coun. Pete Fry, who wanted speed limits on roads without a centre line to be dropped from 50 km/h to 30 km/h.

Through his motion, called “Safer Slower Streets: 30 km/h Residential Street Pilot,” Fry suggests reducing speed limit from 50 to 30 km/h for local streets in Vancouver.

"I've been receiving comments and concerns from around the city and the province," said Fry. "It's to address those of us in neighbourhoods where we do have people who don’t pay that due care and consideration when they're driving through our residential side streets, and give us the tools to further control that on a civic level."

Fry said forwarding the motion to the Union of BC Municipalities would be to help other municipalities follow suit and to set a default limit when entering the city.

Coun. Melissa De Genova argued for the inclusion of other vehicles in the motion, such as bicycles, that would be required to follow the new speed limit.

"There are vehicles, that aren't motor vehicles, that are capable of going over 30 km/h. It's important to include all vehicles in that," she said.

"I'd like to not see that divisiveness and come together here. I'd like us to educate all people about our streets."

Part of his motivation, Fry says, was to help reduce fatalities and injuries when pedestrians or cyclists are hit by cars.

"For pedestrians or cyclists hit by a car at 20 km/h, your chances of a major life-changing injury or death are about 10 per cent; that increases to about 40 per cent if you’re hit by a car at the default speed limit," he told Vancouver back when he first tabled the motion.

Staff will now be directed to submit the motion to the UBCM to bring to the provincial government.

In Vancouver, staff will work to develop a pilot project and identify a local street, area or areas to test the project and report back with the results.

The city says it will look into funding for the speed reduction pilot project, including reaching out to ICBC.

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