Through neighbourhood traffic reviews over the past seven years, many residents expressed interest in having speed limits reduced. As part of our follow up on these requests from residents and as requested by City Council, we reviewed the residential speed limit, current school zones, potential playground zones and potential senior zones.
Lowering speed on residential streets was proposed, but not endorsed by the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation. No broad changes will be made to residential street speed limits.
School, Playground, and Senior Zones
Speed limit changes for school and playground zones in effect September 1, 2022
As part of the Speed Limit Review, City Council directed Administration to also review speed limits related to school zones, streets next to playgrounds, and areas with a high number of seniors.
Based on best practices, technical considerations, and stakeholder and public feedback, Administration developed options and recommendations for consideration by City Council on Monday, November 22, 2021.
On November 22, 2021 City Council approved the following:
- New playground zones with reduced speed limits of 30 km/h;
- Year-round lower speed limits in both school and playground zones 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Adjustments to posted signs and length of current school zones;
- Removal of lower speed school zones from high schools, designating them a “school area” where U-turns are still restricted.
Other approved items:
- Senior Zones – There will not be a new program for Senior Zones. The City will continue to consider potential traffic safety measures such as increasing pedestrian crossing times at signalized intersections, pedestrian devices, traffic calming, enhanced pavement markings, and improved street lighting where appropriate;
- Implementation – That the approved changes are all made in 2022;
- A Safety Review will be completed for pedestrian crossings across arterial streets where an elementary school zone will be removed from an arterial street. Recommendations from these reviews will be prioritized along with other Neighbourhood Traffic Review implementation projects.
- That the Administration report back on the costs, grant options, and feasibility of a Speed Watch program, with a plan to adopt such a program or carry out a limited pilot project to help assess its worth.
- That this report be forwarded to the 2022-2023 Multi-Year Budget Review meeting for addition to the Capital Budget Options for potential Reserve for Capital Expenditures (RCE) funding and for addition to the Capital Budget Options funded for RCE and reprioritization of transportation capital from 2022; and
- That the City Solicitor be requested to prepare the appropriate bylaw amendments to Bylaw No. 7200, The Traffic Bylaw.
An online survey was open for responses from March 2 through April 30. This survey was also conducted by telephone. Thank you for taking the time to provide your input.
How was my input used?
The public surveys were considered in the decisions and most people were in favour of creating playground zones and removing school zones from high schools. Where the surveys didn’t support a change was in extending the hours for the school zones. This recommendation considered feedback from residents through the Neighbourhood Traffic Reviews and what City Councillors were hearing from their constituents. Children attend events at the school and play in playgrounds year-round and beyond the current 8 am-5 pm hours.
City Councillors agreed that year-round school and playground zones would improve safety for children and debated the hours of operation. In the end, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. was selected because it was easy to remember, it’s consistent with Regina, and it allows more time for before and after school activities.
365 days a year operation of school zones decreases the amount of awareness drivers must have with respect to the day of the week or time of year it is while passing through these zones. It also promotes consistency throughout the City with playground zones which are often used during summer months and weekends.
An Information Report including a summary of public engagement was provided to the Standing Policy Committee on Transportation for their consideration. A summary of public survey excerpts is also available.