Council approves two-year speed limit pilot in four neighbourhoods

Posted on Wednesday March 03, 2021

Speed limits reduced to 40km/h in Central Cambridge, Lower Preston, North Hespeler and Southwest Galt

As part of the City’s Speed Management Program, last night, Council approved a 40 km/h neighbourhood speed limit pilot to be conducted in four neighbourhoods described as: Central Cambridge, Lower Preston, North Hespeler and Southwest Galt.

In line with the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, the City has a statutory, default and unsigned, speed limit of 50 km/h on most residential streets. In 2018, the Ontario Highway Traffic Act was amended to allow municipalities to enact lower statutory speed limits.

Each year, the City receives more than 200 traffic complaints or concerns from residents - approximately 25 per cent of which are related to speeding, primarily in residential areas.  

In June 2020, to address resident concerns, Council directed staff to review opportunities to implement reduced speed limits in areas across the city. The Speed Management Program provides staff with a framework to review locations where speeding has been raised as an issue, and develop an action plan to create more liveable neighbourhoods by mitigating the impacts of traffic and speeding. The 40 km/h neighbourhood speed limit pilot is one of a number of initiatives under the plan.

“Lowering speed limits will improve safety for our families and promote a stronger feeling of community well-being,” said Ward 3 Councillor Mike Mann. “This is another step to address speeding in our neighbourhoods and assist with improving the day-to-day lives for all. This is especially important as we see more and more people out walking, running and cycling during the pandemic.”

To measure the effectiveness of neighbourhood-wide 40 km/h zones, information will be collected and analyzed from large pilot areas in multiple, diverse neighbourhoods. The areas for this pilot were selected based on: limited access points, mix of collector and local roads, inclusion of school and park zones, evidence of atypical speeding and differing neighbourhood characteristics.

In each neighbourhood, residents will receive notification of the pilot and reduced speed limit areas will be identified with gateway signage to ensure people are informed of the speed limit change.

As public feedback is a key component to ensure the success of this pilot, it is expected that the pilot will take place over a two-year period. This will allow for a number of opportunities for engagement and education throughout the pilot period. Public engagement on the impact of lower speed limits, safety and on overall quality of life is expected to launch in the spring of this year through the City’s virtual engagement portal - EngageCambridge.

The total cost of the pilot is approximately $40K.  Staff will report back to Council with the data collected to determine if the pilot should be expanded in neighbourhoods across Cambridge.

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