Richmond West Selected for Pilot on Speed Reduction

The City of Winnipeg engineers have selected a portion of the Richmond West neighbourhood to be part of the Lower Default Speed Limits Pilot study:

  • Richmond West (bounded by Pembina Highway, Perimeter Highway, Waverley Street/Tim Sale Drive and Sandusky Drive/Kirkbridge Park/Kirkbridge Drive)

You can review the criteria used to identify the neighbourhoods included in the Pilot in the Residential Speed Limit Review report. The pilot projects were proposed by the engineers and approved through Council meeting on April 21, 2021. Please know, the engineers spoke to me about this pilot and I agreed to it on the condition that the speed limit they test is 40km. Some neighbourhoods will be piloted at 30 km. I will not support a pilot of 30 km in the Richmond West neighbourhood.

 

RESIDENTIAL STREETS

The reduced speed limit will only be applied to residential streets.  The map highlights the neighbourhood collector and residential streets. It is important to note, none of the residential streets are a km in length. All are under 1 km.

18 SECONDS

It will take 18 seconds longer to travel a kilometre – if the speed is reduced from 50 km to 40 km. An additional 18 seconds.

  • Travelling 1km @ 50km/h takes 72 seconds
  • Travelling 1km @ 40km/h takes 90 seconds

There are no residential streets longer than a kilometre in the Richmond West Pilot area, so you will be on a collector street and able to travel 50 km/h in LESS than 18 seconds.

 

WHY IS THE CITY DOING A SPEED REDUCTION PILOT?

There are many reasons, here are a few:

  • Residents are asking for speed reductions on residential streets.
  • The City wants to learn more about speed reduction. Cities across Canada have studied and have applied speed reductions.
  • The City cannot afford to install traffic calming devices on all the streets where traffic calming is requested.
  • The City is growing, and densifying, and residential streets are being used more and more for walking and cycling.
  • Hundreds of kilometer of residential streets do not have sidewalks.
  • Lower speed limits reduce crash fatality rates for everyone, but especially for seniors, who have the highest risk of death and injury on our roads.
  • Not only does lowering the speed limit to 40 km/h drastically improve someone’s chances of surviving a collision, but driving at a lower speed can help avoid collisions entirely.
  • Even if someone makes a mistake on the road, the increased reaction time can be the difference between a close call and a life-altering injury or death.
  • More and more people are walking and cycling to stay healthy. The City cannot afford to install sidewalks and/or cycling infrastructure on every residential street.
  • We spend ~ $8Billion a year on healthcare. If people have safer environments to walk and cycle, your healthcare costs will decrease.
  • A huge factor is to improve quality of life in an urban environment. Neighbourhoods with streets with low traffic speeds and volumes have been found to have better quality of life indicators.
  • Faster traffic acts as a barrier to people traveling within and between communities, especially for pedestrians or cyclists, those with mobility impairments, older people and young children.
  • Traffic speed and volume can deter people from walking and crossing roads on foot, and so interfere with individuals’ ability to access the goods, services, and people they need for a healthy life.
  • Mature neighbourhoods like Richmond West have very beautiful and established trees on the city boulevards. No one wants to cut trees down, even for a sidewalk. Trees protect the environment.
  • Two good articles on speed reduction:  Lowering Residential Speed Limits and Health: Evidence Review & Safe Speeds: Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals

 

IS THIS A MONEY GRAB ?

  • While we cannot tell the Winnipeg Police Service what to do, they will be made aware of the PILOT projects and that ‘Education and Encouragement’ are the desired outcomes.
  • Cities across Canada have dropped speed limits, and have used an ‘Education and Encouragement’ approach.
  • Residents of Southwest Winnipeg know there are high speed racing issues occurring on our major roads.
  • Residents are acutely aware of the work I’ve been doing to try and secure increased Winnipeg Police Traffic Enforcement for high speed racing.

 

PEOPLE AREN’T DYING ON RESIDENTIAL STREETS

 

 IN SUMMARY

  • This is a PILOT to study and learn.
  • A speed reduction to 40 km will take you just 18 seconds longer to travel a kilometre.
  • There are no residential streets longer than a kilometre in the Richmond West Pilot area, so you will be on a collector street and able to travel 50 km/h in LESS than 18 seconds.