The City of Vancouver has launched its first pilot project that will test 30 km/h speed limits in residential and side streets.
The pilot was first introduced as a motion by city councillor Pete Fry in 2019. Fry argues that the survival chance of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle travelling at 50 km/h is only 20%, whereas decreasing the speed limit to 30 km/h would increase the probability of survival to 90%.
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Alongside the motion were a handful of studies and reports, published between 2016 and 2018, all of which call for lower speed limits in urban areas.
The first slow zone will be tested in Vancouver’s Grandview-Woodland area, which is encompassed by Clark Drive, First Avenue, Commercial Drive, and Grandview Highway North.
The neighbourhood area was chosen based on the speed of drivers, the number of collisions, vulnerable populations living in the neighbourhood, and community amenities.
Within the slow zone will be gateway signs, speed limit signs, and paint markings meant to alert drivers of the reduced speed limit.
The project will run until the fall, at which point staff will report back to city council with data results and public feedback. In turn, the results will be used to design other slow zones across Vancouver.