Speed limits may be reduced on residential streets in Leduc this year

Monday, March 27, 2023

The City of Leduc has recommended reducing the speed limit on residential streets in the community by 10 km/hour. The recommendation was introduced as part of a traffic bylaw amendment presented to City Council on March 27. If approved, the speed limit on all residential streets in Leduc would be reduced to 40 km/hour (effective Aug. 28). 

The research shows that this will make our community safer,” says Shawn Olson, Director of Engineering at the City of Leduc. “Lower speeds will help prevent collisions and reduce the severity of injuries if they do happen.” 

In June 2021, the City began a pilot project in its Southfork neighbourhood to explore how reducing the speed limit would impact safety on residential roadways for drivers and pedestrians alike. The results of the pilot project showed that average speeds were essentially unchanged, as expected, but the 85th percentile speeds were reduced from 55–58 km/hour to 44–49 km/hour.  

Additional data on reduced speeds: 

  • Reducing the speed from 50 km/hour to 40 km/hour increases the chance a pedestrian will survive being hit by vehicle by more than 40 per cent.  
  • An adult pedestrian has less than a 20 per cent risk of dying if struck by a car travelling below 50 km/h. 
  • A collision at 50 km/hour is like falling from a fourth-floor window (9.8 metres). 
  • A five per cent cut in average speed can result in a 30 per cent reduction in the number of fatal traffic collisions. 
  • A motorist’s field of vision increases while braking distances decrease when travelling at slower speeds. 
  • When the roads are wet or icy, you need 5 extra meters at 30 km/hour and 10 extra meters at 50 km/hour in order to stop safely. 

Other municipalities in Alberta have implemented similar programs in recent years, including Edmonton, Calgary and St. Albert. 

Safe Speeds in School Zones 

The traffic bylaw amendments also include revisions that would make all Leduc school zone speed limits 30 km/hour, Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  

Currently, the City follows provincial school zone times, which require motorists to drive a maximum of 30 km/hour in school zones from Monday to Friday during three windows of time: 8–9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. –1:30 p.m., and 3–4:10 p.m. The only exception to this is Willow Park School. 

By extending the timeframe and making it applicable to all school zones in Leduc, students, parents and educators will be safer as they are coming and going from school. 

Next Steps 

A public hearing will be held on the traffic bylaw amendments in the coming weeks. The speed limit changes are expected to proceed to second and third reading in April.  

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