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Saturday, 3 September 2011

The city and special speed zones



The city is going to study the issue of lower speed zones around schools. Hopefully this will not be one of those 18 month long studies. As the news release points out, we're the only major Western Canadian city NOT to have them, so there are plenty of nearby places to look to for examples of how the zones work.



Last summer I posted about the need for reduced speed zones around schools and playgrounds. I pointed out not only North American examples but the"20's Plenty" campaign in the U.K. aimed at reducing speeds in and around where children congregate, from neighbourhood parks to schools to community centres.

That post came on the heels of the ridiculously small-minded firestorm over having to reduce speeds around construction workers (but before the small-minded firestorm over traffic circles). One year later, most will note that life has carried on after each of these 'threats to our freedom to drive however we damn well feel'. The sky hasn't fallen. Traffic continues to move. Cars haven't been left abandoned in the streets.

Traffic

I am sure that the school zone issue is going to ignite a similar debate. Despite this, the city needs to move on this issue sooner rather than later and bring us into the 1980s when it comes to road safety around our schools.

I promise, life will carry on.
The sky won't fall. Traffic will continue to move. Cars won't be left abandoned in the streets.

UPDATE: Interestingly, Winnipeg USED to have special school zone speed limits. As seen in this Tribune editorial from June 1943 motorists are required to slow down to 15 mph in a designated school zone during school hours !

2 comments:

Reed Solomon said...

We should just lower speed limits down to 0. Problem solved. Supreme safety. Also, surround schools with a moat and magical forest that children are forbidden to enter. Think of the children! If you couldn't tell, I'm not a fan of reducing down to 20, and I don't even drive.

mrchristian said...

Yes, I can see that ! I think in other Canadian cities the limit goes down to 30.

I never gave it a lot of thought until I moved near an elementary school a few years back. The entrance of our parking lot looks onto the front of the school.

A few times a day the outside of the school becomes a bit of a zoo with cars, buses, kids crossing to the playground etc. and people whiz by. There's a crosswalk just beyond the school but people rarely stop at crosswalks so there's nothing slowing them down. They just whiz down the street at the 'legal, posted speed limit', which is way too fast at times.