Vancouver city council will pilot a lower speed limit on residential side streets. (Google Maps)

Vancouver to pilot 30 km/hr speed limit for residential side streets

Councillor points to many European cities who have done so

Drivers will soon have to slow down on Vancouver’s residential streets as the city council passed a 30-kilometre-per-hour pilot project on Tuesday.

The move would reduce the current 50-kilometre limit by 20 kilometres on residential side streets without a central lane.

Coun. Pete Fry, who introduced the idea, said “most people” already slow down on side roads.

According to a staff report, a pedestrian has a 90-per-cent chance of surviving being hit by a car going 30 kilometres per hour, but that survival rate plummets to 20 per cent if the car is going 50 kilometres per hour.

Fry said nearly 150 European cities, as well as Portland, Ore., have recently adopted such rules.

“Portland just recently adopted a 20 mile per hour speed limit on residential side streets,” Fry said. “It’s been a year now and everybody’s fine.”

The new speed limit goes hand in hand with the city’s Moving Towards Zero action plan, which aims for no fatalities on Vancouver’s streets by 2040.

There are an average of 15 traffic-related deaths in Vancouver each year.

READ MORE: B.C.-wide blitz over Victoria Day long weekend aims to catch speeding drivers

READ MORE: Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?


@katslepian

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