A Vancouver City councillor’s motion for a pilot project on reducing the speed limit on the city’s side streets and residential areas to 30 km/h passed unanimously on Tuesday.
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The motion, by Pete Fry, is based on the “advocacy” of local organizations, the previous city council, and “my own personal experiences,” Fry said in a tweet, last week, prior to today’s meeting.
My motion for 30k/h speed limit on residential streets comes before City Council Tuesday. It’s work based on advocacy of many local orgs like @WeAreHub and @bccycle, the previous council, my own personal experiences, and a growing worldwide safety-first movement to slow down… pic.twitter.com/ZC9qKp1bEK
— Pete Fry (@PtFry) April 18, 2019
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.
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.”
Fry argues that the only drivers that ever need to travel at more than 50 km/h on residential streets are emergency responders and at the end of the day, active transportation and livability should trump all else.
He also notes that an average of 56 pedestrians are killed each year due to car crashes and thousands more are injured.
Upon the passing of the motion, the plan is for the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) would lobby for British Columbia to amend the Motor Vehicle Act and reduce the speed limits on local streets to 30 km/h.
Word that @CityofVancouver Staff are excited about our safer streets motion passed unanimously at council today. They’ve brought out last year’s Halloween costumes!
Next stop #UBCM #30kph #VisionZero #RoadSafety @UNGRSW pic.twitter.com/kwvL7wKZVV
— Pete Fry (@PtFry) May 14, 2019
Municipalities would be able to increase speed limits on local streets on a case-by-case basis.
With files from Vincent Plana