City seeks feedback on plan to reduce crashes on Edmonton streets

The City of Edmonton is seeking public feedback on its plan to reduce crashes on city streets and get closer to its Vision Zero goal of zero traffic-related fatalities or serious injuries by 2032.

Strategy will focus on 15 neighbourhoods disproportionately impacted by road collisions

Edmonton police and peace officers will be targeting noisy vehicles at hot spots throughout the city this summer. (Josee St-Onge/CBC)

The City of Edmonton is seeking public feedback on its plan to reduce crashes and get closer to its Vision Zero goal of no traffic-related fatalities or serious injuries by 2032. 

Edmontonians have one week to take an online survey regarding the Safe Mobility Strategy, which will be in effect from 2021-2025.

The plan is based on five years worth of data obtained through several sources, including the Edmonton Police Service and calls placed to 311. 

It also includes feedback from engagement sessions and an online survey conducted by the city in June.

The information helped the city identify 15 neighbourhoods that are disproportionately impacted by crashes, Jessica Lamarre, director of traffic safety, said during a news conference on Wednesday.

"We're putting forward that they need to be prioritized over the next five years for some proactive work," she said. 

The City of Edmonton used data from the last five years to determine which neighbourhoods were disproportionately impacted by collisions. (City of Edmonton)

Those neighbourhoods tend to be clustered near the core of the city, but also include areas with major arteries running through them, such as Old Strathcona (Whyte Avenue) and West Jasper Place (Stony Plain Road).  

Lamarre said the city is proposing a variety of actions that range from reducing speed limits in residential areas to expanding monitoring technology.

Public opinion on automated speed enforcement has changed some since the city started identifying its photo radar enforcement vehicles with bright colours, she said. 

"We were signalling to the public that enforcement is important. We need to reinforce good driving behaviours, but education is just as important."

Collisions were reduced by 10 per cent at intersections with red light and speed cameras last year, she said. 

"That's a huge impact. That means that automated enforcement is helping to save lives."

Edmonton's Vision Zero plan is paid for by funds obtained through the automated enforcement of traffic laws. 

The proportion of funding that the city receives from the Alberta government was reduced in the last provincial budget, Lamarre said. 

"We do actually have to put forward new budgets for 2021-22, first and foremost to adjust to that reduction, but secondly, to fund the priorities that we've put forward in this strategy."

City council will discuss the new strategy and its budget in late 2020.