In a city the size of Summerside, the fact there are currently five different speed limits in place is somewhat mind-boggling.
It’s an issue that the city’s technical services department hopes to rectify.
At Tuesday’s technical services committee meeting, details of a citywide traffic speed review were outlined.
The review focused on speeds throughout the city, with department staff using the Transportation Association of Canada’s Guidelines for establishing posted speed limits in reviewing various sections of city streets and the associated speeds.
Over a two-day period, information was collected at various locations and the findings were that various speed limits in the former town and the amalgamated communities needed to change.
Prior to 1995, speeds in the Town of Summerside were set at 40 km/h throughout the whole town with the exception of Water Street from Duke to MacKenzie, which was a 50 km/h one. Parts of the surrounding amalgamated communities of Wilmot, St. Eleanors and Sherbooke had speeds ranging from 30 to 70 km/h. Those speeds were either set by the communities themselves or by the province.
For someone new to the city and driving into Summerside via one of the many entry points, it must be confusing.
Posted speed limits are different at almost every entrance, with some as high as 70 km/h and others as low as 40 km/h on what are busy arterial and collector streets, where traffic should flow with ease to get commuters in and out of the city.
It’s not only decreasing speed limits in certain areas of the city that’s being proposed. The technical services department, based on the data it has collected, is recommending that people can have a heavier foot in several areas of Summerside.
On MacEwen Road, the recommendation is to go from a 40-km/h zone to 50. In Slemon Park, the proposal is to up the speed limit on all residential streets from 30 to 40 km/h.
With all the proposed speed changes, the question is this: why not just have one posted speed limit, say, 50 km/h, throughout the entire city?
While the data collected and automated spreadsheets generated suggested various speed limits in specific areas, wouldn’t it be easier for all drivers — those living in the city and those visiting — to have just one posted speed limit?
But that’s not what the department is proposing. And, by all indications, the recommendations from the review have the support of several of the councillors.
So, for motorists, depending on where you are driving in the city, beware.