Apr 3, 2019

Sidewalks, Speed, and Safety

Communities need to be safe for everyone.

As your Councillor, I am committed to ensuring the safety of all our roadway users—motorists, cyclists, mobility challenged, seniors, kids, parents with strollers, and all other pedestrians, alike.

We all need to be able to get where we are going in a reasonable timeframe with the expectation that we can do so without harm or undue delay.

Without proper sidewalk connectivity, people can’t get around safely in their own community. I know that residents want to see better investments in their neighbourhoods. Recently, Edmonton’s Urban Planning Committee members supported my motion for an action plan to address missing sidewalk connections. This action plan will bring us one step closer to getting the right solutions in place to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and injuries.

Council is also contemplating whether all residential speed limits should be lowered from 50km/hr to either 40 or 30km/hr. A report on this topic is anticipated to come back to committee April 24th.

Evidence shows that speed reductions are an effective way to prevent serious injuries and death from collisions. Since the implementation of reduced 30 km/h speed limit around schools in 2014, statistics indicated a 13% reduction in collisions in the designated reduced speed limit areas. In the collisions that did occur, there was a 42% decrease in fatalities and serious injuries sustained by the pedestrian.

Residential roads are the ones that turn off onto the collectors between neighbourhoods. The majority of folks in Edmonton live within 200 meters of a collector road and so the reduction on these residential roads would add —  at most — 10-15 seconds of drive time over that 200 meter stretch.

A reduction to 30km/hr on residential roads would be consistent with the new playground zone limit. Consistency in speed limits would also reduce confusion throughout neighbourhoods and make more standard residential speed limits throughout the city to dramatically improve safety in our neighbourhoods. Speed reduction is a critical aspect of traffic safety and is proven to be the most important variable in improving the survival rates of people involved in traffic collisions.

While working on these safety strategies, we need to continually improve the physical design of our transportation corridors (roads, sidewalks, etc) to make it easier and safer for folks to travel from point A to point B. This is a work in progress.