Lower speed limit ini­tia­tive ‘ab­surd’

Calgary Herald - - EDITORIAL -

I read that city coun­cil­lors be­lieve “most Cal­gar­i­ans” support the pro­posal to lower speed lim­its in res­i­den­tial ar­eas and I was taken aback. I have heard lit­tle support for this. I would ar­gue that many peo­ple are too busy to draft a let­ter ques­tion­ing the mer­its of coun­cil’s pro­posed ac­tions.

Of course, we would all like fewer car col­li­sions, fewer fa­tal­i­ties and in­juries. I be­lieve that is why coun­cil has spent the last few years and sev­eral mil­lions of dol­lars im­ple­ment­ing “traf­fic calm­ing mea­sures” city­wide. Our com­mu­nity saw two lanes re­duced to one, the con­struc­tion of speed bumps and safer side­walks.

My chil­dren are very ac­tive rid­ing their bikes, at times walk­ing to school. We have taught them to look both ways be­fore cross­ing the street, to meet driv­ers’ eyes if pos­si­ble, to be aware of their sur­round­ings. In short, they have taken the re­spon­si­bil­ity for their safety (in part) on them­selves and thrived.

By low­er­ing speed lim­its in res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hoods, am I now to tell them that the city gov­ern­ment doesn’t be­lieve they can safely cross the road with­out in­ci­dent? I hope I can tell them that (a) there was a prob­lem that needed to be ad­dressed; ( b) that sta­tis­ti­cal re­search was done on the is­sue; and (c) the solution was well thought out and ad­dressed the spe­cific prob­lem iden­ti­fied.

In­stead, I fear they will hear some squeaky wheels (with per­haps good in­ten­tions) con­vinced the city to adopt a course of ac­tion nei­ther needed nor ef­fec­tive. There has been a lot of at­ten­tion on this last point, from sta­tis­ti­cal stud­ies of in­tox­i­cated pedes­trian fa­tal­i­ties to col­li­sions where the driver was not at fault in any way. I would add one more — have we con­sid­ered how many col­li­sions oc­cur due to bad weather?

I would urge you to re­con­sider this no­tion that Cal­gar­i­ans are in favour of low­er­ing the res­i­den­tial speed limit. We are not in favour, we are sim­ply work­ing hard and giv­ing back to our com­mu­nity, too busy to draft a note to city coun­cil on ini­tia­tives so ab­surd that no one thought they could pos­si­bly be turned into law.

Heather Lilles, Cal­gary

GAVIN YOUNG

Cal­gary is look­ing at the pos­si­bil­ity of re­duc­ing speed lim­its in res­i­den­tial ar­eas from the cur­rent 50 km/h to 30 km/h.

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