Manitoba

School zone speed limits work, could be expanded, City of Winnipeg report says

A report from the city of Winnipeg's public service shows fewer tickets are issued in school zones with speed limits and they could be expanded to other streets.

City of Winnipeg issues fewer tickets in school zones with 30 km/h limits, report finds

A new City of Winnipeg report recommends expanding school zones and extending the limits to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. (Brett Purdy/CBC)

Reduced speed limits in school zones are effective in getting drivers to slow down, a new City of Winnipeg report says — and the restrictions could be expanded to more streets, or be made effective 24 hours a day.

Those are among the conclusions and recommendations in a report from the city's public works department — part of a performance review of reduced speed limits in school zones — that will be discussed by a city committee next week.

The review looked at the 523 tickets issued in the East Kildonan-Transcona area in 2018. There were substantially fewer tickets issued on streets with a 30 km/h school zone speed limit.

Transcona Coun. Shawn Nason said there were previously too many unknowns in the information available on the success of reduced speed limits around schools, and asked city staff for some data.

"I had no real understanding of what our ticket counts were in the in the school zones —  in the particularly in the Transcona inner area," Nason said Thursday.

Last June, the city's public works committee asked for a report on the effect of the reduced speed limits in school zones.

Nason says the city's transportation division went further than he imagined they would by not only providing ticket counts and their locations, but surveying school divisions for feedback.

Transcona Coun. Shaun Nason says adding flashing lights on major routes and regional streets near school zones could reduce speeding in those areas. (CBC)

Seven divisions across Winnipeg responded, saying the speed zones make areas around the school safer for students, but wanted to see the initiative expanded.

Some of the recommendations include increasing the hours of 30 km/h limits — currently 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the school year — to 24 hours a day, year-round; increasing the number of school zones to include all schools in Winnipeg; and extending the zones to include side streets near schools and some regional streets.

Nason believes highly visible signage could help get drivers to slow down on streets near schools that don't already have reduced-speed zones.

"I think flashing lights would be a great and wonderful addition to alert people. That's what's done in a plethora of other municipalities both in Canada and the U.S. I think it's something that we should be looking at," Nason said.

The report notes the city is considering reducing speeds across residential neighbourhoods across Winnipeg.

The recommendations will be considered at a meeting of the East Kildonan-Transcona community committee on May 12.

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