Calgary test shows narrow roads could save lives

A safety advocate in Calgary says the city needs to change the way it designs roads to make it safer for pedestrians.

Speeds drop on average 14 km/h in pilot tests

A recent Calgary pilot project found roads that are less wide can drop motorist speeds by 14 km/h on average. (Colleen Underwood/CBC)

A Calgary safety advocate says the city needs to change the way it designs roads to make them safer for pedestrians.

Greg Hart is with Safer Calgary.

His organization conducted a pilot program on two busy thoroughfares in Calgary during rush hour traffic on Friday morning.

With the help of the city's transportation department, they put up barriers along Fairmount Drive and Acadia Drive to narrow the roads.

Hart says drivers slowed down 14 kilometres per hour, on average.

"We should make that design so it's easy for us to do the right thing," Hart said.

Greg Hart of Safer Calgary says it won't be cheap, but narrower roads can safe pedestrian lives. (CBC)

"We do the right thing because the environment causes us to tend to do that, so that's what we are shooting for and the measurement right off the bat, it shows. It's a massive impact."

Hart knows it would be expensive to retrofit existing streets to make them narrower, or introduce other calming measures.

But compared to the cost of another overpass, he believes officials should invest in proven engineering solutions to save lives.

With files from Colleen Underwood


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