British Columbia

Council approves pilot for 30 km/h limit on Vancouver streets

The pilot project, which will see the speed limit in one area of the city reduced from 50 km/h, is expected to start in September.

Motion will also be presented to UBCM to lobby province for change to speed-limit laws

The pilot project, which will see the speed limit in one area of the city reduced from 50 km/h, is expected to start in September. (Linda Ward/CBC)

A pilot project to reduce speed limits to 30 km/h on select roads in Vancouver has been approved by council. 

Coun. Pete Fry, who submitted the motion, said the idea is to make roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

"The evidence out there is that if one is hit by a car at 50 km/h, they have a better than 90 per cent chance of significant injury or death — and that's greatly reduced if we reduce the speeds to 30 km/h," Fry said.  

Council unanimously approved the motion Tuesday night. It also calls for council to present the motion to the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) to lobby for a provincewide change to B.C.'s speed limit laws.

Currently, the province's Motor Vehicle Act allows cities to set lower speed limits if they have proper signage — something Vancouver has done for the stretch of Hastings Street that runs through the Downtown Eastside.

But Fry says signage costs can be prohibitive, which is why he's seeking the UBCM's help. 

City staff will start developing a plan for the pilot project, with details on the location and road design changes due to be in place by September. 

With files from Justin McElroy

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