Speed reduction will make our streets safer

As we begin to get a handle on the COVID-19 pandemic and with summer around the corner people are itching to finally leave their houses. While this has been long anticipated, I want to caution people to keep the health and safety of themselves and their families top of mind--not just by practicing good hygiene, but also being safe on the roads.

City Council recently endorsed reducing the speed limit on most residential and downtown streets to 40 km/h and this change is expected to take place starting in August. This reduction is one of many ways we are preparing to grow into a healthy city of two million people. Traffic safety is at the heart of supporting a healthy city, livable urban spaces and a prosperous regional economy.

By reducing speed limits on residential streets and high pedestrian areas, we can make our streets safer, calmer and quieter for everyone. Slowing down gives people more time to react to the unexpected, to prevent crashes and reduce the severity of collisions that do happen. This reduction is one important action with the Safe Mobility Strategy 2021-2025, which is Edmonton’s approach to advancing Vision Zero: to have zero traffic-related serious injuries and fatalities by 2032.

While I know this will be an adjustment for many people, I assure you most will not notice much of a difference in drive times. Those with concerns about these speed limit changes affecting their drive times are invited to use the Estimated Time of Arrival Tool (ETA Tool) which residents can use to see how their trip times may be affected. You can find the tool by going to this link. Simply enter your starting point, destination, date and time of travel, and calculate.

I know this will take some time to get used too, and we are committed to working with residents across the city to educate and build awareness of these speed limit changes. I want to thank you in advance for adhering to this and working together to make our city a safe and healthy place for everyone to live.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at mohinder.banga@edmonton.ca

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