Manitoba

Winnipeg to study reducing speeds on residential streets to 30 or 40 km/h

Winnipeg is looking at reducing speed limits on residential streets — provided the province signs off on the change.

Province would need to make a change to prevent requirement for thousands of new signs

Winnipeg is exploring the idea of reducing residential speed limits. (Danielle Nerman/CBC)

Winnipeg is looking at reducing speed limits on residential streets — provided the province signs off on the change.

The city is poised to study the implications of reducing speed limits from the current 50 kilometres an hour — the default speed limit unless otherwise posted — to 30 or 40 km/h. 

While the city has the power to do this, the provincial Highway Traffic Act makes this impractical, as the city could be required to place new speed-limit signs at every intersection of the affected roads.

As a result, Winnipeg transportation engineer David Patman recommends the city ask the province to change the Highway Traffic Act to allow reduced speed limits.

"Without an amendment, reducing residential speeds citywide would result in thousands of signs being added to the residential streetscape — an undertaking which presents both financial and esthetic concerns," Patman wrote in a new report to city council's public works committee.

On July 7, that committee will consider asking the province to make the change and kick off a study of reduced speed limits that would likely start next year. It would look at what other cities have done with residential streets.

The same report also recommends the city engage in a reduced-speed-limit pilot project on five streets already used heavily by pedestrians and cyclists. That would cost $250,000 to $300,000.

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