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.”

‘He was like an angel’ — Family mourns Calgary boy killed in dirt-bike collision

Contributed by the Nahal familyFamily and friends are mourning the death of 12-year-old Neil Nahal. The Calgary boy was killed when his dirt bike collided with an SUV over the weekend.

He may have only been 12 years old, but Neil Nahal loved to explore and had big aspirations.

“He always said he wanted to be mayor when he grew up,” recalled younger sister Sanna Nahal with a smile. “He had this golden aura — he walked into a room and lit it up. Everyone just gravitated towards him, he had a pure heart.”

“He was like an angel,” added fellow sibling Shawna Nahal, who watched with admiration as her younger brother toured with family through London and Paris a few weeks ago, taking great interest in the European art and architecture he spotted along the way.

But now friends will be left to wonder what could have been, as Neil was struck and killed by a car while aboard his dirt bike Friday just a block from his southwest Calgary home.

On Monday, family and friends alike deemed the corner where Neil was killed in the 1900-block of 10A St. S.W. dangerous, adding it was likely neither he nor the 16-year-old driver of the vehicle that hit him saw each other until it was too late.

Friends and family said Neil’s father Satpal Nahal always made a point of keeping a close watch over his son.

“We were, very, very close,” Satpal said. “He is my only son and my best friend.”

Sister Joti Nahal added, “We have the best dad in the world and we will always remember Neil as our angel.”

Neil’s three sisters and first cousin Sundle Sandhu spent an hour sharing numerous fond memories of him Monday afternoon. Sandhu, specifically, said the youngster always put a smile on her face.

Police have said they don’t expect charges to be laid in relation to the collision.

Neil would have turned 13 in two weeks and begun Grade 8 at nearby Mount Royal Junior High School in September.

Classmates, including Jaslynn Kanwal, set up a makeshift memorial on the fence bordering the school’s playground over the weekend.

“Everyone’s trying to hold up right now,” Kanwal said. “He was just a free-spirited person — he was the most energetic person I know.”

Memorial information

  • Plans are being finalized to hold a memorial in honour of Neil Nahal at Queen’s Park Cemetery, located at 3219, 4th St. NW. Wednesday afternoon.

dirtbike

Montreal reduces city speed limits

Link to article click here

CBC News Posted: Jul 07, 2009 9:34 AM ET Last Updated: Jul 07, 2009 12:36 PM ET

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Montreal announced Monday that speed limits on residential streets will be reduced to 40 km/h within the year. ((CBC))

Montreal and Quebec’s transportation ministry have reached a deal to allow the city to reduce speed limits on its streets to 40 km/h from 50.

The speed reduction has been in the works since the city asked the ministry for permission to lower the speed limit in 2006.

The city released a statement on Monday, confirming that Quebec Transport Minister Julie Boulet finally gave permission for the speed change once the city and the province worked out how the new speed limit would be phased in.

Limits on streets in residential neighbourhoods would drop to 40 km/h, while major arteries would stay at 50 km/h.

The city said it would try to save money on signage by posting the speed change by sector. The city would put signs at entry points in each sector instead of street by street.

City spokesman Darren Becker said the main reason for the change is safety.

“There’s statistical data that proves that by reducing the speed limit by just 10 kilometres an hour, you can significantly reduce the chances of serious injury and death,” Becker said. He added that increased awareness and policing have also brought the number of traffic injuries down significantly.

The city said new limits should be in place sometime next summer.