As of August 6th, the speed limit in Edmonton’s residential areas dropped to 40km/h. The move is the result of a push to increase safety in residential areas where kids play and people ride their bikes or go for walks. While some people are understandably frustrated with the confusion caused by the shift, I think it’s the right move in general. Although, where adjustments are proven to be needed, we need to make them.
The pedestrian survival rate in a collision with a car is double at 40km/h than it is at 50km/h, a huge increase in safety for a small decrease in speed. This will make neighbourhoods, where people should be driving slower already, safer. It will also keep major roadways, which make up much more of people’s commutes, at their current speed.
We’ve invested a lot of time and money in this shift and I believe we need to give it some time before making any additional changes which will just pile on confusion and wasted dollars. I understand that 40km/h may not make sense in every community and we should change the speed limit in such communities, according to each community’s need. First though, we need to give 40km/h a chance.