Support for 30 km/hr speed limit in city core

Community and Public Services Committee is looking at changing the speed limit on local residential roads from 50 km/hr to 40 km/hr.

The core zone proposed for Edmonton

When the framework came up for discussion on April 24, 2019, we contributed to the call for lower speed limits AND to promote 30 hm/hr in the heart of the city.

It’s known as YEGCorezoneled by Julie Kusiek.

Within the specified area (see map), all residential streets would be 30 km/h, collectors 40 km/h, and all arterial roads would be unchanged.

Here is what we shared with the committee:

Design vs. enforcement

A key part of the Corezone proposal is the reliance on design rather than photo-radar to get drivers to comply with a 30 kph residential speed limit.

By design, the built environment of the streets have certain characteristics:

  • narrowness of the roads in these older neighbourhoods
  • prevalence of parked cars (often on boths sides of the street)

These factors help determine what feels like an appropriate speed to drive on any given street.

Inexpensive design improvements for safety

Adaptable infrastructure to alter the design, quickly and inexpensively in the parts of the Corezone that don’t feel that way –that don’t feel like they’re designed for 30 kph

These low-cost materials would help alter the design of key street spaces, in order to get drivers to slow down:

  • plastic bollards
  • road paint
  • moveable concrete parking bumpers
  • curb extensions
  • bump outs at intersections

These adaptable materials can be installed quickly and cheaply, with an immediate effect on the design of a roadway: vehicles will slow down because the built environment dictates that they need to

*Identifying potential sites could use the crowdsourcing model from our Missing Links initiative

Connects to the city’s Strategic Plan

Corezone proposal aligns perfectly with the City’s ConnectEdmonton Strategic Plan for 2019-2028.

All four of the strategic goals of that plan would be reinforced by the Corezone:

  • Healthy City goal
    Mentions creating a “neighbourly” environment with an emphasis on “community and personal wellness.”
  • Urban Places goal
    Talks about creating high-density, “vibrant” spaces with “plentiful” mobility options.
  • Climate Resilience goal
    Touches on our need to transition to a low-carbon future.
  • Regional Prosperity goal
    This could be reinforced by the Corezone, in a way. Imagine a young family thinking of moving to Edmonton for work. Knowing there’s part of the city where the speed limit is 30 kph isn’t going to scare anyone away, isn’t going to make anyone think “it’s going to take me 20 seconds longer to get to work each day.”

Corezone helps build a city for all

When cars go slower, folks feel safer walking and cycling to get around (at least for short trips)

When people walk and cycle they’re healthier, they talk to their neighbours, they’re more likely to shop locally, they’re more likely to feel connected to each other.

Here’s a place that really does care about:

  • liveability
  • walkability
  • safety for vulnerable road users

If Edmonton is serious about achieving this vision where community and liveability matter, then the Corezone helps us get closer to it.