What's happening with the speed limit review?
In September, City Council will vote on whether or not to reduce speed limits in residential neighbourhoods. It has still not been debated by Committee or Council. The Administrative recommendations were tabled in August to allow enough time for folks to see the recommendations. The report will be discussed by the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation on September 7, 2021. At this time, they will make a recommendation to Council for consideration.
The discussion of speed limits is a very common concern raised to our Administration, Council and through Neighbourhood Traffic Reviews (NTR).
The goal of our NTR process is to make neighbourhood traffic safer. We start by asking residents about where they have noticed issues that may be unsafe. Our engineers then include these spots to study and staff go out to these streets and intersections in a neighbourhood and gather relevant information, including measuring speeds traveled, the amount of traffic and the amount of pedestrian use.
When these studies identify that folks are driving above the speed limit, we will suggest traffic calming mechanisms to decrease speeds and increase safety for neighbours and users of the roadway. There are other mechanisms that would trigger traffic calming, but many times roadways that are raised as places where people often speed are studied, and in general do not have folks speeding, but actually going the speed limit (or under the speed limit). It is certainly frustrating for residents that experience a perception of speeding to learn this. This always begs the question of whether 50 km/hr is too fast in a residential setting. We have simply come to the point as a community where we need to have that question answered. By no means is it a simple question.
Survey and Feedback from Neighbours
Two surveys were conducted this year to get feedback from residents on the speed limit review. In June, these results were presented to Committee, along with a technical and jurisdictional review. Take a look at this blog post for a summary of the findings.
What is Administration's Recommendation?
- That Option 2 – 40 km/h Speed Limit for residential neighbourhoods be approved in principle;
- That Option A – Street Classification be approved in principle to determine street eligibility for the speed limit reduction in residential neighbourhoods; and
- That the 40 km/h speed limit in residential neighbourhoods be approved in principle for local streets and collector streets.
If you would like to read the report, it can be found here. There are two attachments. If you would prefer to download the PDF, you can do so here. The report is found on pages 328 – 352.
How will I vote?
This issue is complex and I am looking to gather feedback from residents. Here's how you can reach me to share your feedback: wardeight.ca/contact_sarina.
I voted against undertaking a review of lowering speeds in 2018, but since losing the vote I have been doing my best to keep folks informed on the reporting. I encourage you to take a look at the links provided and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
In September, Council will decide in principle if we want to lower the speed limits. Depending on the outcome of the vote, decisions will still be outstanding on school, playground, bikeway, and senior areas/zones. For example, there are some things that need to be updated regarding best practices in school zones. The outstanding decisions will be informed by the speed limit in residential neighbourhoods.
A visual of the timeline can be found here. This is an estimated timeline, but can always be adjusted if additional information is needed ahead of a decision being made.
- Speed Limit Review Webpage: saskatoon.ca/engage/speed-limit-review. This contains links to all the background reports, neighbourhood specific information and updated timelines.
- Administrative report and recommendations on speed limits.
- Summary of engagement results, jurisdictional review and collision statistics.