Motorists will be required to slow down to 40 km/h on all residential streets after city council voted on the drawn-out issue during a meeting Wednesday.
Council also agreed to lower the limit to 40 km/h on main streets such as Jasper Avenue and Whyte Avenue.
The new speed is expected to be in place by mid-2021, after the necessary bylaw changes have been made.
Residential roads are currently 50 km/h by default, except in designated playground zones, which are 30 km/h.
Councillors voted 8-5 in favour of the 40 km/h limit in both core and suburban neighbourhoods.
Coun. Andrew Knack also asked council to vote on reducing the limit on main streets and high pedestrian areas, like Whyte Avenue and Jasper Avenue.
That was also supported by an 8-5 vote.
Knack had pushed for 30 km/h in core.
“At this point, there’s really no denying the fact that a 30 km/h speed limit is the right speed in terms of reducing injuries and death,” Knack said before the vote. “This speed has the greatest overall benefit for safety.”
Coun. Sarah Hamilton proposed a blanket 40 km/h in all residential areas, noting that council has been debating options for several years.
“How long have we been talking about this?” she asked during the meeting.
Interim city manager Adam Laughlin noted that city administration supports reducing the 50 km/h limit in residential areas, but not going as far as 30 km/h.
“Our recommendation, despite what’s on the motion, is 40 km/h across the city,” Laughlin told council. “I think what we’d really appreciate is a decision so that we can forward.”
Knack said the first suggestion to lower the 50 km/h limit was made about a decade ago.
More to come…