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Residential speed limit of 40 km/h has ‘merit,’ says Calgary transportation chief

Reducing the standard speed limit in residential areas to 40 km/h is an idea that has “merit” and would almost certainly save lives, the city’s transportation chief said Monday, but it would be “cumbersome” for Calgary to do without provincial legislation.Citing “very, very clear” data on pedestrian fatalities, transportation general manager Mac Logan told council it’s hard to argue with the numbers.“The faster that the vehicle’s going that hits the pedestrian, the more likely they are to be seriously injured or killed,” Logan said.

His comments came as council voted unanimously to ask the province to boost fines for speeding in residential areas, and Coun. Ray Jones inquired why the city doesn’t simply reduce speed limits, itself.

“We do have the option to do it,” Logan said. “But we have to sign it appropriately. So because the default limit is 50 km/h, we would basically have to sign every street that it’s 40 km/h, as an exception.”

That would be cost prohibitive and impractical, he added.

Prior to 2010, Logan noted, a previous city council requested that the Alberta government reduce the default speed limit to 40 km/h, “but that was rejected by the province.”

Coun. Richard Pootmans said there have already been four pedestrians killed this year in Calgary and another 162 struck non-fatally, and speed makes all the difference between life and death.

“If you’re driving at 30 km/h, there is a five per cent likelihood of a pedestrian fatality,” he said, citing data from the World Health Organization. “If you’re driving at 48 km/h, there’s a 45 per cent likelihood of a pedestrian fatality.”

Calgary saw an average of 508 pedestrians struck each year from 2007 to 2011, according to police data.

Nine pedestrians were killed on city streets in 2013, while 11 died in 2012 and six in 2011.

 

Metro Original Article – http://metronews.ca/news/calgary/1031417/residential-speed-limit-of-40-kmh-has-merit-says-calgary-transportation-chief/#