Most British Columbians want slower speeds on residential streets

Jun 10 2019, 4:42 pm

Over half of British Columbians want to see the speed limit reduced to 30 km/h on all residential streets in their municipalities.

According to a new poll conducted by Research Co., 58% of BC residents want to see the speed reduced to 30 km/h, while keeping the speed limit at 50 km/h for arterial and collector roads.

In May, Vancouver City council passed a motion for a pilot project on reducing the speed limit on the city’s side streets and residential areas to 30 km/h.

The adjustment would require a change to the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA), which currently calls for a 50 km/h speed limit if driving within city limits.

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One of the motion’s main arguments is that the survival chance for a pedestrian struck by a vehicle travelling at 50 km/h is a mere 20%. Decreasing the speed limit to 30 km/h would increase the probability of pedestrian survival to 90%.

Alongside the motion are a handful of studies and reports, published between 2016 and 2018, all of which call for lower speed limits in urban areas.

Part of the motion would see council direct city staff to “identify a local street, area, or areas within the city to pilot a 30 kilometre per hour speed limit demonstration project and report back with implementation strategy, timing and budget as well as proposed road design changes by Q3 2019.”

Research and Co. found that 66% of British Columbians think the City of Vancouver’s pilot project is a “very good” or “good idea.”

Over two-in-five British Columbians (42%) say they see a car driving over the speed limit on their neighbourhood street at least once a day.

The poll is based on an online study conducted between May 26 to 29, 2019, among 800 adults in BC.