New West councillor wants to curb speeds on residential streets

Coun. Patrick Johnstone wants the city to explore the idea of introducing 30 kilometres per hour speed limits on residential roads to make them safer for pedestrians.

On Monday night, council approved a staff recommendation to request senior levels of government to introduce a standard for reflective clothing, products and accessories for “non-professional road users” such as pedestrians and cyclists. Canada is taking part in the United Nations’ Decade of Action for Road Safety, which runs from 2011 to 2020.

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While he supports efforts to lobby senior governments for action with standards for reflective items, Johnstone said he’d also like speed limits to be decreased from 50 km to 30 km per hour in residential areas to make streets safer. He asked staff to draft a resolution that council can send the Lower Mainland Local Government Association and the Union of B.C. Municipalities, asking the province’s ministry of transportation to reduce speed limits in residential areas.

Coun. Chuck Puchmayr said the idea been proposed in the past, with the “great divide” being conflicting opinions on rural and urban lines, with many rural communities opposing the change.

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