Pilot Project – 30 KM/HR Speed Limit within the Waverley West Ward

I’ve piloted many projects over the years seeking to improve traffic safety in Winnipeg. The idea of a ‘pilot’ is to test out the theory.  Many positive results can come from pilots, and while they might cause a bit of disruption for some, overall pilots are necessary to ensure improved safety.

The Province of Manitoba now allows the City to determine and apply streets speed limits. Until recently, only the Province could apply or change street speed limits.  I know the idea of changing residential streets speeds can be controversial at the best of times, here are the reasons why I felt the City should conduct a pilot – in the motion format:

  • WHEREAS current City of Winnipeg data reflects more collisions and death occur on collector and regional roads;
  • AND WHEREAS changing driver behaviour/culture requires a multi-pronged approach of education, enforcement, engineering, engagement, evaluation;
  • AND WHEREAS the World Health Organization has recognized that reducing urban speed limits saves lives;
  • AND WHEREAS forty seven (47) countries around the world have reduced speeds and are seeing a direct reduction in pedestrian deaths;
  • AND WHEREAS neighbourhoods in the Waverley West Ward are ideally positioned to be a pilot project for applying a 30 km speed limit on residential streets;
  • AND WHEREAS there are only six (6) entry points to the Neighbourhoods of Bridgwater (Forest, Lakes, Trails, Town Centre), South Pointe and Prairie Pointe;
  • AND WHEREAS neighbourhoods in the Waverley West Ward are the fasted growing in the City of Winnipeg with one of the youngest age demographics (2016 census);
  • AND WHEREAS multiple traffic calming pilot projects have been implemented into these neighbourhoods, with more traffic calming studies underway;
  • AND WHEREAS the area Councillor holds frequent community discussions on speed and traffic calming and the community is very interested in traffic calming options;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works be requested to direct the Winnipeg Public Service to pilot a 30 km/hr speed limit for a period of three years on residential streets within the following neighbourhoods:

  1. Bridgwater Forest
  2. Bridgwater Lakes
  3. Bridgwater Trails
  4. Bridgwater Town Centre
  5. South Pointe
  6. Prairie Pointe

When this motion came to the public works committee, on April 21st, I requested that no action be taken, but instead to have the department focus their efforts on looking at which streets to open up for pedestrian and cycling access due to COVID-19.  We were in the middle of finding ways for people to physical distance, and I felt the department’s energy should be focused on COVID related issues.

The City does have a report coming forward in June (2020)  that will discuss residential speed limits and if any changes should be made. I look forward to seeing what the public service engineers are going to recommend.