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More people cycling, more places, more often

Help get a 30 km/h speed limit pilot!

Do you want quieter, safer residential streets in your neighbourhood? If so, they may be coming but we need your help to get there. Saanich has partnered with 9 other municipalities to run a pilot project to lower the speed limits on local streets from 2021 to 2024. That’s great! But they want to do at 40 km/h, which isn’t slow enough for kids, people walking, or people biking. You can add your voice to make the pilot 30 km/h

What’s happening

The BC government allowed municipalities to test new road safety ideas, including lower default speed limits. Saanich is leading a group of 10 municipalities to get speed limits lowered residential roads without a centre line lowered from 50 to 40 km/hr (this proposal does not include commuter roads or residential roads with a centre line).

Why change the speed limit to 30?

Research shows that 30 km/hr is the speed limit that someone is likely to survive being struck by an automobile. The world is moving to 30 km/h, lead by the World Health Organization and the United Nations. School zones are 30km/hr to protect children – why don’t we protect them in the areas where they live and play?

Odds of surviving being hit by a car at different speeds
Source: It’s time to submit on speed limits

Within North America, the National Association of City Transportation Officials recently released their City Limits: Setting Safe Speeds on Urban Streets guide, which says the following:

“maximum recommended speed limit for any minor street is 20 mph. The maximum recommended speed limits are based primarily on speeds that minimize risk to pedestrians and cyclists”

This isn’t just theoretical. Toronto recently changed the speed limits on some of their local streets from 40 km/h to 30 km/h and found a 28% drop in crashes.

What sort of streets would this apply to?

Any street in the area without a centreline, which are mostly local streets, alleys and similar small streets. Streets that look a lot like the streets below:

Goward Road in Rural Saanich

Who else is doing this?

Lots of other cities. Other Canadian cities that have implemented, or are considering, 30 km/hr on residential roads include Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Saskatoon.

How you can help

While we commend the District of Saanich for taking this initiative, we are very concerned that 40 is the wrong choice for the safety of all road users. We need as many people as possible to write to their municipal leaders and let them know that 40 is too fast for residential roads without a centre line.

We’re asking all the municipalities on board to consider revising this proposal to 30 km/hr, as this will be the safest speed for our children and all vulnerable road users.

Use the form below to send your message to your local council and Saanich engineering.