Community associations demanding Saanich lower speed limits on residential roads

Ninety-six per cent of residents along the main roadway of Ten Mile Point say the speed limit needs to be lowered for safety reasons – an issue being battled in community associations across the municipality.

Ninety-six per cent of residents along the main roadway of Ten Mile Point say the speed limit needs to be lowered for safety reasons – an issue being battled in community associations across the municipality.

Last October, David Ferguson responded to neighbourhood concerns that the 50 km/h speed limit is too fast along Tudor Avenue, a winding residential road not equipped with sidewalks. Ferguson went door-to-door and asked 75 households along the road if the speed limit was too high.

“I found that the vast majority of people were concerned about the speed on Tudor,” he said. “People said ‘yes,’ Saanich should take action to reduce the speed.”

The Saanich engineering department responded with a 24-hour traffic survey of the area. Of 2,400 vehicle movements, the average speed was 53 km/h. Fifteen per cent of the vehicles were travelling in excess of 60 km/hr. Since Tudor is classified as a collector road, it’s a difficult area to lower the limit, said Jim Hemstock, Saanich manager of transportation.

“If we change the speed limit, then every block has to be signed, so it’s a pretty expensive undertaking,” Hemstock said.

Rather than changing the limit and incurring the cost of installing new signage throughout the neighbourhood, Hemstock said the municipality has offered to install a roadside pathway to move pedestrians away from traffic. Saanich had also offered a paved sidewalk solution for cosmetic reasons.

“The way (residents) look at it,” Ferguson said, “that’s still not going to solve the problem.”

The Gorge-Tillicum Community Association has been making a similar argument over pedestrian safety.  On July 1, the association launched a petition to lower the speed limit on all residential streets from 50 to 30km/h.

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