My motion for 30k/h speed limit on residential streets comes before City Council Tuesday. It's work based on advocacy of many local orgs like @WeAreHub and @bccycle, the previous council, my own personal experiences, and a growing worldwide safety-first movement to slow down… pic.twitter.com/ZC9qKp1bEK
— Pete Fry (@PtFry) April 18, 2019
I have been advocating for slower vehicular speeds in neighbourhoods to make communities safer, more comfortable and convenient for vulnerable road users. I also have been writing about the impact on communities elsewhere that have adopted 30 kilometer per hour as the default speed in municipalities.
The Scottish Parliament is considering a bill to lower speed limits to 20 miles per hour (equivalent to 30 km/h) in all cities, towns and villages. That is a reduction from the currently accepted 30 miles per hour (50 km/h). London and several counties in the United Kingdom that have adopted the slower speeds within their city limits have seen vehicular deaths decline by 20 percent, and serious injury also substantially decline.
City of Vancouver Councillor Pete Fry has introduced a motion asking that Council support a resolution to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities to lobby the Province to amend the Motor Vehicle Act “to a default speed limit of 30 kilometers per hour for local streets with municipalities enabled to increase speed limits on local streets in a case-by-case basis by by-laws and posted signage.” Councillor Fry has also requested that staff identify an area of Vancouver to pilot a 30 km/h speed limit, report back on the strategy, and implement the slower speed in that neighbourhood area to ascertain the effectiveness of the policy.
This is not the first 30 kilometers per hour rodeo going to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. The City of New Westminster and Councillor Patrick Johnstone headed up such a request a few years back. What really needs to happen is for this initiative to leave the purview of the municipalities and be seriously considered by Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena who can give authorization for the change to the Motor Vehicle Act.
The beauty of a blanket implementation of the residential neighbourhoods is that there will not be a huge capital cost to create signage everywhere indicating how fast you can move on which street. While arterial roads would remain at 50 km/h, the local serving streets within Vancouver neighbourhoods could all be 30 km/h.
This is also City of Vancouver City Council’s opportunity to correct the term “Vision Zero”. During the Vision Party’s majority they did not want the term “Vision Zero” in Vancouver’s reports (which refers to the Swedish approach adopted in 1997 to achieve zero road deaths) to be used for political reasons.Read more »