March 21, 2016

Slow the heck down! #VisionZero

Trending now: governments are raising or lowering speed limits
Lowering speed limits in Cities saves lives (and is one of 4 key actions to increase the number of bicyclists). You’ve probably seen the stunning and scary illustrations of a driver’s field of vision at different speeds that Carlos Felipe Pardo talks about. If not, click here and scroll down to the 4 images in Diagram 2.
While some provincial and state governments, including the BC “Liberals”, have been increasing speed limits on highways (with objections from police), more Cities are adopting goals of #VisionZero (zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries per year) and have reduced speed limits like New York to 25mph in 2014, Toronto to 30kph and Edinburgh to 20mph in 2015, and Seattle to 30mph in 2016.

Quotes from articles in links above:
New York: “I am not going to speed for nobody,” [cabbie Ernst Rodriguez] said.
Toronto: “I hope every driver treats every local neighbourhood street like it’s a street where their kids could be playing,” [Ward 22 councillor Josh] Matlow said.
Edinburgh: The easy-to-love capital city is rrrolling out a plan to cap the speed limit at 20 mph across 80 percent of its rrroads, including the entirety of its dense downtown.
Seattle: SDOT Director Scott Kubly said, “The laws of physics tell us that higher speeds will result in more crashes, injuries, and deaths. Lower speed limits allow people more time to see each other and react. These changes will significantly help people walking and biking to schools, parks, transit and other destinations. This is especially important since crashes with pedestrians and bicyclists make up five percent of total collisions but nearly 50 percent of fatalities.”

In BC, municipalities cannot lower speed limits on their own without additional costs. They can either ask the BC government to do it for all municipalities or they have to post signs on each block for anything lower than the default of 50kph. If there’s no speed limit posted, assume the default. That’s 2 signs (1 in either direction) on each block. Vancouver, Victoria, and Kelowna have recently asked the BC government (via UBCM) to lower the default (urban) speed limit to 40kph twice and their request has been denied twice.
The City of Vancouver is concerned about the costs to put up and maintain signs on each block. City engineers also wonder if speed limits are as effective as street design and other methods to calm traffic. (They usually cite the 3 Es to make changes work: Engineering, Education, and Enforcement.)
The City of Victoria decided to act on its own, pay the $90,000 estimated for their first move, and reduce the speed limit from 50 to 40kph on 8 streets plus the Downtown Core.
Should the City of Vancouver be doing more instead of waiting for the BC government to understand the safety and environmental concerns? On the other hand, every time Vancouver adds a greenway or active transportation corridor, the speed limit along it goes to 30kph. Is that enough?
But on the other hand, the main 4 ways to drive to downtown Vancouver (into a dense population of walkers and bicyclists) involve going 60kph over a bridge/viaduct right before entering our downtown. How do we send a message to drivers that they have entered a dense area and need to slow down by 20-30kph or never speed up to 60 before slamming on the brakes to 30?
If a number of streets downtown have synchronized light signals (green the whole way at a certain speed) couldn’t the speed at which to drive through a bunch of green lights be reduced with a little programming?
Discuss. Or better yet, write your MLA and your City Councillors. This is a timely topic at both levels.

Twenty is Plenty – Version 2

Speed limit sign in Glasgow, Scotland 2012. mph, of course. Photo by Tanya Paz.

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  1. Interesting about Toronto – I did not realize that they were so far ahead.
    We may as well go for urban speed of 30 unless otherwise posted. Another idea which has been floated around is to make the speed limit 30 on all urban streets without a centre line. I am a big fan of marking the rules of the road ON THE ROAD instead of on a sign. The Netherlands does this very successfully and has very few actual signs and also some of the safest roads in the world.

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      I like it! Great suggestion since all mode users are more likely to look at the road than at the signs. Also, according to current City of Vancouver bylaws skateboarding, push scooters, inline skates, and roller skates can legally use minor roads (defined as those without a line painted down the middle). Therefore what you suggest would be more inclusive. [I’m paraphrasing bylaws, of course.]

  2. I guess that’s progress for Seattle, but LOWERING to 50kph on a street with schools & parks? Wow. What was the limit before?
    I’d like to see more of everything for Vancouver: blanket 30kph speed limits (it’s not like your average speed is even that fast in the city anyway, for most of the day) AND infra changes to traffic calm as many streets as possible. Bumpouts everywhere! Speed humps for all! One way streets with less free street parking “car canyons”! AAA bike lanes. Ped/bike priority light sequences!

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      Excellent point re: ~50kph alongside schools & parks. (Shivers.) JSK was in Seattle last night. Maybe they were motivated to slow down more!
      Re: Vancouver Yes, yes, yes! Hear, hear! And lights where peds/bikes lead not lag!

  3. All it would take to implement is an amendment to the motor vehicle act allowing cities to post blanket speed limits at the city boundary. With this change, the city could post signs saying ’30 km/h Unless Otherwise Specified’ or whatever speed they wanted. The UBCM and others have been asking for this change for over 15 years, but the requests have fallen on deaf ears. Hopefully, this will change.
    Speed limits of 25 mph (40 km/h) on arterial streets are quite common in US cities.

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      One simple change from the Province you say…and then you acknowledge how long Cities have wanted it for. There’s a provincial election in 13 months. Platforms are being shaped now. It’s a good time to shout it from the streets – if not for the din of speeding traffic. Will add the word “recent” to my post. It was misleading of me to say it’s happened twice. Thank you.

      1. It is a simple change, only if there is political will to make it happen. Sadly, for whatever reason, the province has refused to move on this and I don’t understand why. It makes no sense to me.
        Hopefully, this will change as some of us are involved with a group that is pushing for changes to the MVA including this (and other substantial changes) and will be talking to the province about it very soon.

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          Thank you for the work you do. Thank you to HUB and BCCC, too. And the lawyer and the professor, too. I look forward to a Road Safety Act to replace the Motor Vehicle Act (with the recommended changes).

  4. Great Article Tanya, I’m a firm believer in creating friction through narrower road profiles, think of how slow you travel on Vancouver side streets when there is parking on both sides and essentially a one way street. In Auckland we used to fight with transport engineers who would make us remove street trees because they restricted visibility, we argued that it would force drivers to drive defensively and actually lover speeds. They didn’t buy it.

    1. It is indeed amazing to me how many side roads are either used like squatters as free parking spots ( ) or quasi-through roads. Both have to be changed, i.e. charge for parking and lower speeds in residential areas, or perhaps like I showed in my UBC blog every second street is a green street. In many neighborhoods the garages are in the back, and we could easily remove 50% of all streets and make them ped/bike/greenways like in Wesbrook Village at UBC. ( )
      After the initial outburst house values would soar 15-20% on these quiet green streets.
      To reclaim our city for people we need to make car use far more expensive, far slower and provide alternatives. Not much is done even in green Vancouver besides a few cuutzy bike lanes, but most neighborhoods have enormous potential.
      Why is the car king even in E-Van, Point Grey or Shawnessy ?

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      Narrower roads, yes. It doesn’t need to be car parking on either side. It could be wider sidewalks, bike lanes, etc. Especially with driverless carsharing, who needs all that parking? Street trees are vital. The closer they are to the traffic fumes, the more they can clean the air (my artsy explanation of it).

      1. Definitely. Yes not advocating more parking just saying nothing drains the blood out a drivers knuckles more than sideview mirrors kissing.

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          They should slow down.
          In Japan I walked to school between buildings on a short road so narrow it only fit one car. It was a two way street and drivers would politely take turns. When I walked down it, on the very edge, sometimes drivers would drive by anyway, banging their side mirrors on my elbow. Ouch! Grrr.

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        Yes, already on my list of pet peeves to discuss this week! Spoiler alert: In US 4% of fire department emergencies are to fires now. Most of the time a ladder truck is not needed. They’re often called “Fire & Rescue” and we forget the new emphasis is on the latter, not the ladder.

  5. what prevent the city to post signs on entrance of zone (such as between arterials), pretty much like below?
    …And llke overwelmingly done across Europe:

    As an example, In France, the default speed limit in city is 50km/h, but most of the cities have extensive Zone 30km/h limit (properly signalled by law, and never asked the government to do that for them)

    Does the city council is not again unecessarily politizing the issue instead to take action on it?
    The city recently redid South East Marine drive: no sidewalk, no bikelane here (at the difference of its extension in Burnaby), and a road clearly designed for car user only and to to encourage high speed….and they gonna ask the Province to lmit this at 40km/h?
    What a pathetic Joke!!!
    As alluded in a previous comment, if you need a sign to enforce a speed limit, that means your street design is wrong…but I guess it is easier to put the blame on the Province

    1. It would be nice if Vancouver could, but by default, all city streets are 50, so anywhere you have an intersection, you need a sign saying this block is 30. That is why bike routes that are 30 km/h have signs on every block As I said, all it would require is a simple change to the MVA, but the province is unwilling to date to move on this.

    2. It would be nice if Vancouver could, but by default, all city streets are 50, so anywhere you have an intersection, you need a sign saying this block is 30
      No, it doesn’t. As soon as all the streets leading to an intersection are already limited at 30km/h, there is no need to repeat the posted speed limit at or after the interesection.
      At least that is how Richmond (Steveston, Burkeville), North Vancouver (Deep Cove), Granville Island juridiction (the reason of my above picture), and I believe Rossland, interpret the BC MVA.
      If Vancouver (and now I understand New West) want to interpret the mva differently,it is their own problem, not a Province one.
      That said, it doesn’nt mean the mva is satisfying in that regard amendment of it to provide more robust legal ground to traffic calming sign could be welcome, and ideally you would like the introduction of a new sign along the line of this one seen in continental Europe:
      …which indicate a speed limit of 20km/h (yes 40km/h is so yesterday!), but also indicates that jay walking and other usual restriction on pedestrians and cyclist movements, such as riding abreast, are walking on the pavement, doesn’t apply in the zone signalled by this sign….
      …But it is not at all what Vancouver is asking to the Province.

      1. My understanding of the issue with the City having speed limits other than the provincial standard for municipalities isn’t that they can’t do it (they can put them up, if they like) but rather that if they don’t post the alternate speed limit every block it isn’t enforceable in practice. This apparently has to do with what the courts have decided, not an arbitrary decision by the City. A related example is parked cars in marked bike lanes (SW Marine heading west from Granville) that aren’t ticketed due to the lack of specific no parking signs in each block.

      2. I understand it may be some enforcement issue (has it been tested in court?) however the main idea of zone 30 is to send a message (random enforcement alone anyway is not enough, speed need to be governed by street design)…
        So far it looks the zone 30 has well worked for decades on Granville island, and I haven’t heard Richmond asking for change in the MVA to make it work eitehr. I don’t understand why the mva could apply differently in Vancouver.
        Furthermore, if there is a speed enforcement issue if there is no sign at everyblock , why New West allows this to happen?
        The 30km/h sign is before an intersection, the school is after, and there is no repeat sign
        The point I made in my previous comment is that if there is lack of legal provision in the MVA to implement an enforceable restricted speed limit zone (where signs need only to be posted at the perimeter of the zone):
        Then yes, the municpalities should ask for an amendment of the MVA to allow this. That doesn’t impose anything on anyone…
        What Vancouver is advocating is not that! it wants the Province to impose its urban views in regard of speed limit, to all rural communities of BC…that is not a constructive way to move forward, but just a way to politize an issue while doing nothing on it (and it is not like it European cities get 30km/h and now 20km/h speed limit in their urban core when default country wide speed limit in urban area are still 50km/h…)

        1. Where do you get the information about Vancouver trying to impose something on other municipalities. It is UBCM that is asking the province for the right of any municipality to be able to set default speed limits other than 50. Province has consistently refused.

        2. The MVA regulations concerning school zones are a different section, and refer to the temporary speed limit until the vehicle operator passes the school (or playground) to which the signs relate. Different issue.
          Voony, I think you’ll find that what municipalities are asking for is the ability to designate a speed limit as a default, ie to their entire municipality, or a zone thereof, and then post arterial speeds at a higher rate. There are far fewer arterials than side streets, so it is a more manageable task.
          I haven’t seen Vancouver advocating for reduced speed limits in other municipalities, just their own.
          Also, I think that the unwillingness of the City to ticket vehicles for certain infractions, because of their past experience in not being able to enforce them, is a confirmation that the courts have in fact decided.

        3. <emThe MVA regulations concerning school zones are a different section, and refer to the temporary speed limit until the vehicle operator passes the school (or playground) to which the signs relate.
          But in the case above, if you turn left at the interesection, you will never see the school. I suggest the end of the speed restriction is triggered by other mean (typically another sign making void the prevous restriction)
          In fact , I didn’ see it specified in the mva, and all that (including this byzantine distinction of a 30km/h sign according to if it apply tin the context of A or B) highlight the shortcoming of the BC mva.

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      Voony re: differences in different municipalities. Did you notice what Jeff Leigh said? The areas you mentioned have different police forces from the Vancouver Police Department.
      Also, zones are a good idea. I was going to mention the zones solution in Montréal but decided it made the article more complicated. When the Active Transportation Policy Council asked the City of Vancouver about speed limits a couple of years ago, staff showed us the speed zones in Montréal as an option, if the Province approved and therefore the police department accepted it, too.
      In case it brings you any hope, the City is about to make improvements on SW Marine Dr and have been pushed to do better than they did recently on SE Marine or King Edward. The bike lanes will have some protection and the pedestrians won’t have concrete sidewalks but won’t have mud paths either: an in between solution of small gravel that still makes it accessible for walkers and wheelchairs.

      1. Thanks, replied above.
        Also, I think the Metro cities should make an impact study of a 40km/h speed limit on Translink bus operation, and explain who gonna pay the extra cost to run buses.
        (The 30km/h speed limit on Hasting has involved extra operating cost for Translink – in practice the bus are the only vehicle obeying the speed limit – and it is a reason why they were opposed to it).

        1. Who says that a default lower speed will have any impact on transit service. Arterials could easily be posted at a different speed limit. If a rule were set up that default speed limit be only for streets without a centre line, then very few speed limit signs would have to be used.

  6. I feel it is worth noting that Vancouver HAS posted 30km/hr speed limits on most neighbourhood bike routes (Ontario, 10th Ave, etc.) A quick google streets view stroll will confirm this.

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      1. Yes, they have, but the MVA requires them to post at every block, so every motorist entering from any street knows the speed limit. Otherwise, it isn’t enforceable.

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      Go for it!
      Lowering speed limits in city centres is certainly trending right now. There are many best practices to showcase.
      The link to the article on your initiative explained what Colin and I had a hard time understanding: who could be against this?!
      “…the “great divide” being conflicting opinions on rural and urban lines, with many rural communities opposing the change”.
      Ah, yes. Some town centres may still prioritize moving vehicles over safety.
      Also, very pleased to see you attended the JSK talk last night. And weren’t we all very pleased the mayor of Abbotsford was in attendance? #signofthetimes

      1. I agree. I see no down side. What I don’t get is why the province has been resisting this simple change for the last 16+ years. It gives cities the flexibility to set higher or lower limits, depending on needs. Many cities I suspect would like to set lower, at least on some streets. To me, this is a win/win. In my mind, no non-arterials should be 50 km/h, they should be 30 and maybe 40 in some cases, but currently they are all 50 unless signed.
        I agree, about the JSK talk. I was surprised, but very pleased to see the mayor of Abbotsford there, as well as many other elected politicians, including a councillor from Langley. I hope they were inspired enough to bring change.

    2. Western suburbs indeed. Though I have heard from another New Westminster resident that the city is located at the geographical centre of Metro Vancouver. Also the first municipality in the region?

  7. To paraphrase DOA – signs minus enforcement does not equal Vision Zero. 60 km/h plus on my residential street is not uncommon (Renfrew Collingwood neighbourhood). Time for less patrol cars driving around aimlessly and more police on foot, in our local streets enforcing the limits IMO.

    1. … its even worse when you exit the Cambie Bridge heading downtown … if you are about to hit the red light exiting the bridge heading downtown, you hit the next light unless you’re driving well north of 70kph (I’m told), and continue that speed all the way up the hill to Burrard (I’m told), you’ll make every light (I’m told).
      As I also bike this route on occasion, its rather perturbing that I know this (from having been told … based on much diligent observation and experimentation, so I’m told)

      1. The same with cycling on Dunsmuir. The lights are timed for the speed of cars so if you want to hit every light, you have to go faster than you might want to just to not get delays.
        It should be that as you hit downtown to expect that you cannot go fast. Highway speeds are inappropriate in a city core and should not be encouraged like this.

        1. … similarly, on Carall coming either to or from false creek, passing under the viaduct, the timing of the lights used to allow you to get to Gastown, at moderate pace … the timing is now that to make the light going either south or north (especially north), you have to do essentially a full-on sprint, and then even barely make the next light (westbound traffic on Pacific).
          So, the incentive for many is to say eff to the light and cross against the light, when a 5 or 10 second delay to the car light would allow every bike to make it through again.
          Its a little thing … but what was once a perfect green-wave got broken, and so, it feels even more annoying than if it had never been good to begin with!
          (and so far as I can tell, the unevenness of the approaching cars from either side mean that they also don’t have much of a favorable green wave effect)

        2. I know of only one green wave for cycling which was deliberately set up by the city, namely 1st Ave heading west from Quebec. Perfect green wave all the way – approx 20km/hour. I often take Nelson to get out of downtown, and it has a brown wave (works for cars) which is close to 50km/hour. Would be much better all around if this one were a bit slower. Note that a cycling path is to be added to Nelson between Richards and the bridge, so a change in the wave speed would be much appreciated. A slowing down of the brown wave on Smythe would also be appreciated.

  8. Observe traffic on a Vancouver arterial and you’d quickly come to the conclusion that the speed limit is 70km/h and even that isn’t always obeyed.
    I live on a quiet side street with parking on both sides, stop signs at both ends of the block and lots of pedestrians but that doesn’t stop people from going >50km/h and rolling through those stop signs at 30km/h. In the evening I sometimes see cars go through the nearest stop sign without slowing down at all. I know because my living room would light up red if they so much as touched their brakes.
    So if speed limits are almost universally ignored and many even ignore basic safety concerns in places where visibility is poor and pedestrians are common I must say that I have little faith that a blanket reduction in urban speed limits would accomplish anything.
    Case in point: the woman who has been ticketed 14 times for distracted driving who boldly states that staying in touch with her clients is more important than following the rules of the road or the safety of those around her. I don’t think she’s all that rare.

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      Lowering speed limits is one step on the way to safer streets. (enforcement)
      As Lisa mentioned above, bumpouts or bulges, wider sidewalks, narrower streets, real roundabouts, other traffic calming measures, should be encouraged as well. (engineering)
      How many distracted driving tickets does someone get before their driver’s licence is suspended or taken away?!

  9. At least Vancouver has a default speed limit of 50. Up at UBC the default speed limit is 80km/h. So unless posted otherwise at every block, the official speed limit is 80. Madness. But it does not stop there. The RCMP does not recognize speed limits posted by UEL or UBC. They do recognize the ones posted by MOTI, where they are consistently posted at every block. And all UBC roads have an official speed limit of 30km/h. But Campus Planning does not want to post it. And in some places they post a higher speed limit without having the authority to do so. The RCMP is not obliged to enforce any speed limits (not even 80) on UBC (private) roads, but UBC has the authority to dispatch enforcement officers. Which they decline to do.
    Getting the default speed limit in the City of Vancouver to 30km/h would be great, but up at UBC it is absolutely essential to change the default speed limit down from 80. And 30 is the only reasonable choice as all roads that would be candidates for 50 or higher speeds are already posted at 50 (or higher speeds). So there is next to zero extra cost to enact a region-wide lower speed limit, for which there is a provision in the motor vehicle act that the province could enact.

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  10. That is mainly to answer to Arno
    the post reads: In BC, municipalities cannot lower speed limits on their own without additional costs. They can either ask the BC government to do it for all municipalities … Vancouver, Victoria, and Kelowna have recently asked the BC government (via UBCM) to lower the default (urban) speed limit to 40kph twice and their request has been denied twice
    So all my previous comment are based on these assertions (and other comment on the “urban/rural divide” ): Is it true? certainly yes fot Victoria (but my understanding is that the UBCM didn’t endorsed the idea), for Vancouver, I don’t know.
    Let’s assume Vancouver just want the ability to have a “a la carte” default speed limit decided at the municpal level. and want lower it to 40km/h but as Arno suggests keep the 50km/h on all the arterial. What we gonna achieve?
    below is the causality map as provided by ICBC:
    most of the residential street in Vancouver (no central line) witness alreadytraffic speed below 40km/h: most of the safety issue (and speeding) appears on arterial.
    So on a safety front, we could achieve near nothing and still have to plant a forest of sign on arterials (repeat the 50km/h at each block), and all exit of those arterials (because it is common usage to signal speed change , even if it is toward the default, when it starts to apply (otherwise you could probably be challenged in court).
    …and you could still need a forest of sign for the area limited at 30km/h.
    One can see, that is only a very clumsy solution (discounting the confusion which can arise of a mosaic of muncipalities with different “default” speed) , and probably the reason why it is almost universally a different solution which is adopted: Speed limit applying area wise, with almost universally a specific sign for it.
    In Quebec (where secteur=area) the sign is:
    and Transport Quebec specifies:
    When a speed limit is specified for all streets inside an area, the [above] sign must be erected at all the access to this area …and no street inside the area can have a posted speed limit greater than the one posted at the entrance of the area
    That is pretty much the universal definition for such sign (including in Scotland):
    If not yet possible to have that in BC. Vancouver, and other municipalities should effectively actively lobby the Province to enable here what has proven working and very popular in the rest of the word.
    All other request suggested in this thread are just exercise in futility resolving pretty much nothing. If Vancouver has already asked the above solution, let us know,and let us know the rational of the Province for refusing it….And if they didn’t have requested it, Why ?

    1. The current MVA says that the province is the only one who can change the speed limit.
      The City has a plan (Transportation 2040) that since 2012 when it was adopted, has included the action to “Advocate for provincial legislative changes to enable municipal control over blanket speed limits for city streets”. You can go back much further than this, and see City motions from 1999, just as an example that endorse that direction from the Province.
      Hopefully, upcoming changes to the MVA will address this issue. In the meantime, as the original post says, write your MLA and City councillor.
      As to the crash map, it would be helpful if those were crash rates, and not simply counts of crashes from ICBC. The associated risk is more valuable information IMO, and simply showing more crashes on arterials (which carry more vehicles) than on residential streets doesn’t prove much.
      What would be even better would be if we got back to the Vision Zero goals relating to injuries and deaths, and didn’t just focus on whether a motor vehicle operator crashed or not. If the motor vehicle is going slower, studies have shown that vulnerable road users are more likely to live when they are hit by drivers of motor vehicles. I don’t think that is achieving nothing, it is achieving something worthwhile.
      Given the BC Government’s support of Vision Zero (see their progress report), it will be interesting to understand why they have not empowered their road safety partners, in this case municipalities, to take action to move towards that goal.

    2. I take back the 50km/hr for arterials. Perhaps this could be limited to only a few arterials or none at all. City has in the past asked for default of 40 km/hr but based on research and on the city’s vision zero goal, default should really be 30km/hr

        1. I know of no arterial streets in any city that are 70 or 80 km/hr, except those maybe on the outskirts. There are too many street crossings and pedestrians and cyclists for it too safe. How many pedestrians and cyclists are you willing to sacrifice for this?

        2. Some or all artirials should be bicycle free. We need car moving corridors.
          It is a big city, east-west and north-south say 30 x 40 km.
          We need to accommodate ALL modes of transportation.

        3. Thomas, if you are basing your requirement for 70/80 km/hr arterials on a misunderstanding that the city is 30 km by 40 km, you will be happy to know that it is more like 13 km east-west and 10 km north-south.
          Since that shrinks it by a factor of 3 or 4 from your estimate, depending on direction, you should be very happy with a 30 km/hr limit. You will still get there faster than you planned.

        4. I am think of major throughfares like Granville South of 16th, Oak Street bridge, 6th Ave between Granville and Cambie, Kinght street bridge, Hastigs, 1st Ave / Terminal Ave, Lionsgate bridge crossing and W-Georgia to Burrard, Marine Drive from UBC to Burnaby, flyover to airport, certain roads in Burnaby or Richmond etc .
          many are very car oriented already and could easily accommodate 70-80 km/h as most folks go 65-70 anyway ..
          We need to also formally disallow bikes on most of these roads as the odd biker (often a new UBC student or a tourist) takes them although a bike path is a block or 2 off ..

        5. Thomas,
          Why would anyone want anyone to be sanctioned to do 70-80kph highway speeds in the city? (especially since you allude to speeding 15-20kph already over the speed limit … that means you’ll have people doing 100 down Granville, people aren’t allowed to do that on the trans-canada when approaching intersections, why in gods name should we tacitly sanction it within the city?
          Its worse for pollution, worse for noise, worse for danger, and ITS SLOWER AND HAS LESS CAPACITY!

          There might be an argument in pure capacity sense for 60-70 (not even necessarily a good one, especially including the other issues mentioned), but thereafter there is no good argument for even greater speed to save, maybe, 30 seconds or a minute while driving at midnight on a holiday IF you got all the lights (which you shouldn’t be able to get anyway)?
          For someone who wants to deal with the externalities of free parking, you don’t seem to want to deal with them for road capacity, safety, noise, etc…

      1. Disallow bikes? You would also have to disallow pedestrians, since they will certainly be killed in large numbers by the 80km/hr traffic and not just by red light runners which are frequent. Not that currently pedestrians have the right of way at most intersections which are not controlled by traffic lights. High speeds are totally inconsistent with vision zero. Unless you are OK with killing and injuring fellow human beings, you will have to accept lower speed limits.

    3. Notice the ICBC map is the one of casualties (not of vehicle crash), it could be helpfull to know more on the the casualties severity, but I don’ have those data…
      Whether we should correlate it to traffic volume is debatable.
      I don’t remember Jeff explaining that the high level of cycle crashes on Point Grey Rd was not proving so much because it should have been divided by the volume of motor traffic…. I don’t think it is a common practice either. There is no direct relation between both (one has just to compare Main and Clark) and there is many other factors at play (albeit, usually the most severe accidents appear in low traffic volume) – At the end this map show the black spots where the casualties effectively occur: a casuallty is a casualty disregarding where it occurs: .if you want to have an effective road reduction fatality strategy, you have to know where and why they occur first and not trying to dilute them to fit a predefiend agenda.
      I have found the 1999 city of Vancouver motion:
      It is not as bad as I was thinking first but it is not good either, and it is fortunate this motion didn’t go anywhere: It introduces all the problem I have mentioned in my previous comment: With this motion, 50km/h speed signs could have been erected every ~100meters along arterials in every direction. A motorist arriving by Oak bridge (and taking any arterial), could have to see ~ 60 speed sign on a mere 6km stretch.
      In most road safeyty circle, that is considered as a big NO-NO (on the line too much sign kills sign awareness which end up to be detirmental to road safety…), and by common sense standard, it is just considered insane!
      sure the statu-quo (as now and how the city interpret the MVA) supposes that the city implement much more 30km/h sign (something like 3 times more if they want “blanket “all residential street), but motorists tend to travel only a handfull blocks in residential street, so that at the end they will see only a handfull of speed limit sign: something much more acceptable and in line with good practice toward better road safy…and at the end it is what matters.
      Aslo the motion misses an important dimension of the philosophy behind Low Speed limit applying area wide (typically known as “Zone 30” followed now by the Begegnungszone, with 20km/h speed limit).
      As I have mentioned before the concept of zone 30 is not only focused on speed. Wikipedia states
      “The philosophy behind such zones is that the streets in the zone are public space, and they seek to help strike a balance between the realities of an urban area bustling with pedestrian activity and the circulatory function of the roadways. Streets in these zones are considered to be a space for people who live, work, play and study in the area, not for people who cross the zone to get somewhere else.” (the french governemnt, thru its agency CERTU, adds that a zone 30 shouldn’t have any traffic light, stop sign, pedestrian crossing… and all traffic should be managed by passive design)
      From there, having a motion restraining the speed reduction to “residential area” is a first mistake (all Gastown area – Chinatown,…should also be in Zone 30)…
      more importantly, the Zone 30 is a “positive attribute” of an area, for which the concerned community apply for it (it is not default)., its perimeter need to be carefully considered, because the sign regulation suffer no exception for higher speed (the reason why it is not default)
      It is not an city wide “blanket” or “default” speed… the city recognize to be arbitrary as soon as the sign is posted, and so promise lot of exception (hence carry much less legitimacy, introduce confusion on which speed apply where, in addition of a forest of sign): the Zone 30 is a whole lot different concept.
      In 1999, the zone 30 was relatively new (it has been legalized in 1990 in France). So since that time, the city engineers got probably enough time to educate themselves and to recognize the 1999 motion was clumsy…they should come back with another one, which propose area speed zone bylaw aligned with well accepted international practice (including for the suggested speed, 30km/h rather than 40km/h – the later should be reserved in fact for some arterials such as Robson/Davie …).

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