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Speed limit lowering to 30km/h in some Winnipeg areas – Winnipeg

A reduced speed pilot project is set to start on Wednesday, March 1, and it will lower speed limits to 30 kilometres per hour in some Winnipeg neighbourhoods.

“Probably the number one reason we’re piloting this is the impact on quality of life,” said Public Works Committee Chair Janice Lukes, who has been pushing for lowered speeds since the project was first introduced to the council in 2020.

The neighbourhoods of Tyndall Park South and Bourkevale will drop to 30 kilometres per hour, while Worthington and Richmond West will go to 40 km/h.

Lukes said although most serious accidents are on major routes, lower speeds will improve safety in a growing city.

“When you densify a city and increase the population, more people are using their yards, streets, driveways, and if the traffic is calmed, it improves the quality of life.”

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Lukes said she has had a mix of positive and negative feedback leading up to the project.

“I think actually a lot of people don’t even know what’s happening, so when the signs go up, you know, that will be their notification. When you change the speed limit on a street, as per the Highway Traffic Act, all the speeds are enforceable by the city.”

Click to play video: 'Residents react to speed limit pilot project'

Residents react to speed limit pilot project

I would like to think that the police would give people warnings because it is a pilot and it’s new. But, you know, the police are going to do what the police want to do.”

People in other major cities across the country are already driving slower in their neighbourhoods, making Winnipeg an outlier.

“Most other jurisdictions in North America have a default speed limit in residential areas of 40 km/h or 25 miles per hour, which is the same thing. We are at 50 (km/h),” Ahmed Shalaby, a professor in civil engineering at University of Manitoba, told 680 CJOB’s The Start on January 5.

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Out of Canada’s top 10 largest population centres, Winnipeg is the only one that either hasn’t already explored a pilot project, made plans to lower residential speed limits or reduced some already.

Lukes said her hope is to eventually see lowered speed limits in residential areas in the entire city “and in the downtown, where we’ve got a lot of population, we have a lot of density.”

“I mean, maybe the downtown goes to 30 (km/h), but these pilots are going to help us better understand that and we’re going to continue looking at other cities.”

– With files from Global’s Rosanna Hempel and Iris Dyck

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg an outlier among major Canadian cities that have reduced residential speed limits'

Winnipeg an outlier among major Canadian cities that have reduced residential speed limits

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