News / Calgary

Calgary's Pedestrian Strategy will not include speed limit reductions

Council votes against 40 km/h study because province may dictate lower speed limits

The city’s Pedestrian Strategy has 49 recommendations aimed at making the city safer for walkers and cyclists.

Metro File

The city’s Pedestrian Strategy has 49 recommendations aimed at making the city safer for walkers and cyclists.

Calgary city council has finally given approval to the long awaited Pedestrian Strategy, but lower speed limits will not be a part of that strategy for now.

The strategy has 49 recommendations that administration will implement over the next few years.

It will require $2.5 million for operating costs and $11 million in capital over three years, according to city transportation general manager Mac Logan

The 50th recommendation was for a reduction in residential speed limits to 40 km/h, but many councillors couldn’t stomach that without further study and consultation.

The city’s transportation committee had recommended administration dig into the details of a 40km/h residential limit, but when Logan revealed the $150,000 price tag on a study, that idea was scrapped too.  

Coun. Shane Keating was one of the councillors who voted against the 40 km/h report. He said he’s interested in the idea, but there are too many uncertainties to spend that money now.

 “The province is talking about lowering the speed limit. The (city) charter is talking about lowering the speed limit. I’m positive we’re waiting for a report from the Calgary Police Service on what they think would be a good plan on residential traffic enforcement.”

Keating said the report could be useless if the province implements a blanket lowering of speed limits, so there’s little point in doing a study at this time.

However, the idea is not off the table. Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra is advocating for a reduction to 30 km/h in residential areas, and higher limits as drivers move onto arterials.

Coun. Richard Pootmans is also interested in the idea. He said he’s been talking to community associations in his ward and most are open to the idea.

Pootmans made a motion arising to ask administration for maps detailing where the reductions would be, however the motion was defeated.
“I think its too bad – I would have liked to learn more before we made a decision,” he said.

As council was debating the matter Tuesday afternoon, Coun. Druh Farrell noted that another pedestrian had been struck by a car.

The incident happened at 17 Avenue SW and 35 St. SW. It was the 122 pedestrian collision in Calgary this year.

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