Calgary groups call for 30 km/h speed limit on residential roads

Glenn Kelly / For MetroA vehicle passes a 40 km/h sign.

Advocates in two Calgary communities are calling for speed limits on residential streets to be reduced to 30 km/h, saying the change would drastically reduce the risk of death in motor-vehicle collisions.

Jodi Morel undertook the campaign in Mount Royal after witnessing the scene of a fatal motorcycle crash earlier this year.

“It was quite horrific,” she said, adding that, based on the distance the rider was thrown and the injuries he sustained, she initially figured he must have been excessively speeding.

But police told her otherwise.

“They had, in fact, measured it and it was within what they would expect from 50 km/h,” Morel said.

Dale Calkins, meanwhile, founded a group called 30 For Sunnyside and is calling for a similar speed-limit reduction in his neighbourhood, based on similar research in that Morel cites.

“30 km/h is significantly safer than 50 km/h and much, much safer than any speed over 50 km/h,” he said, referring to several studies he presents online.

Calkins said he wants to simply start a conversation on the idea in Calgary, although he recognizes there will likely be resistance.

“I think a lot of people will look at this and say ‘This is too inconvenient,’” he said. “But it’s only in residential areas and really your trip times will only be impacted by a few seconds.”

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