I feel like I have been writing forever about the impact that 30 km/h road speeds make in neighourhoods. There are so many examples in Europe where 30 km/h road speeds have been adopted and remarkably changed the serious injury and fatality rate, and made roads more comfortable and crossable by people walking, rolling and biking, besides lowering carbon emissions.
In Edinburgh, lowering road speeds to 30 km/h resulted in a 300 percent increase in biking and a a 25 percent reduction of cyclist and pedestrian injury rates in the first year of the reduced road speed. It was so successful that Edinburgh is expanding their 30 km/h areas.
In British Columbia, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) unanimously passed a motion years ago to have the Province give the municipalities the right to lower road speed in neighbourhoods without the installation of costly signage on each street. There’s been no response from the Province, which is odd when you consider lowering road speed contributes directly to the ability of citizens to survive a crash, and increases physical exercise, lowering potential hospitalizations and health costs.
Mario Canseco’s Research.co latest poll shows that there is public support for slower speeds in neighbourhoods, with 61 percent of respondents saying they would ” “definitely” or “probably” like to see the speed limit reduced to 30 km/h on all residential streets in their municipality, while keeping the speed limit on arterial and collector roads at 50 km/h.”
What is particularly interesting is that this survey showed a 3 percent increase in support for slower speeds since the last survey conducted in pre pandemic 2019.
It is also interesting who wants slower speeds: it’s the young and the older. As Mr. Canseco states the ” “Majorities of residents aged 18-to-34 (62%) and aged 55 and over (57%) share the same view.”
There has also been a pilot program in Vancouver testing the 30 km/h limits, which commenced with a demonstration project in the Grandview-Woodland area. Residents in the province by a two-thirds margin see this pilot program as being a “very good” or “good idea”.
The truth is that the 50 km/h speed default can be too fast on many residential streets, and that came through in the survey, when nearly 40 percent said they saw vehicles moving faster than the posted limit daily. Forty-five percent of Fraser Valley residents said they saw cars speeding on their street daily, while 37 percent of Metro Vancouver residents said the same.
Mr. Canseco’s latest survey shows that residents in this province are ready and want slower 30 km/h speeds in their neighbourhoods. What is it going to take to get the Province to deal with this and sign off on allowing municipalities to have slower residential speeds?