The issue was discussed during Tuesday’s technical services committee meeting where details of a citywide traffic speed review were outlined.
The review, done at the request of council, detailed analysis by the technical services department of speeds throughout city with the purpose to determine if changes to posted speeds were warranted.
And, after analyzing the data collected through a two-day traffic count and using guidelines set out by the Transportation Association of Canada, the department has recommended changes to speed limits in a number of areas.
“Staff sees these recommendations as a way to improve road safety and simplify the speed zones throughout the city,” said committee chair Coun. Cory Thomas, who read the report. “After the initial phase-in period, staff feels these changes will not be noticed and fall in order with the other posted speeds throughout the city.”
If approved by, the city would have only two posted speed limits — 40 km/h and 50 km/h — as opposed to the five currently in place.
On Greenwood Drive, between MacLeod Street and Pope Road, staff is proposing the speed limit be reduced from a 70 to 50 km/h.
If passed, the change would be phased in, first lowering the speed limit to 60 km/h for a six-month period then to the final 50 km/h.
On Water Street East, between Gillespie Avenue and Read Drive, it’s recommended that the speed limit be reduced 60 to 50 km/h. Increased traffic congestion was cited as the reason for the proposed change. The street, said the report, is one of the busiest in the city with approximately 11,700 vehicles per day.
Technical services staff do want to see speed limits increased in a number of areas.
The department is proposing that Water Street East between Wilmot Lane and Gillespie Avenue, which was only reduced to a 40km/h zone this past summer, be changed to a 50 km/h zone to allow for better traffic flow.
On MacEwen Road, between Water Street and Prince County Hospital, staff recommended the speed limit be increased from 40 to 50 km/h with a 40 km/h in school zones from 8 a .m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, during the school year.
On Slemon Park Drive, between Route 2 and Argus Drive, it was recommended that the speed limit be increased from 40 to 50 km/h and that all residential streets within Slemon Park increase from 30 to 40 km/h.
The issue will go before council at its regular monthly meeting Monday for a vote.
Several committee members did voice support of the move at Tuesday’s meeting.
If approved, technical services director Aaron MacDonald said the changes and new signage could be in place within two weeks.
He couldn’t comment on how lenient city police will be when it comes to issuing speeding tickets in these areas once the changes are made.