Saanich must be more willing to reduce speeds

Re: Neighbourhood speed limits must be lowered (Letters, May 16)

Re: Neighbourhood speed limits must be lowered (Letters, May 16)

I could not agree more with the writer’s views on speed limits in residential neighbourhoods. Main arteries are for moving traffic, but residential streets should be quiet and liveable.

Our quality of life is slowly being eroded because our residential neighbourhoods are increasingly being used as a cut-through to avoid traffic backed up on the main roads.

Saanich council keeps saying they are willing to talk about the problem, but never do. When presented with petitions that have the overwhelming support of residents in a neighborhood, they simply pass it over to staff, where it gets ignored.

I am aware of two such petitions presented by community associations in Saanich, and dozens of individual letters from residents, all of which go nowhere.

It is impossible to even get a conversation started with council on the subject.

Of all the options available for reducing speeds, the cheapest, by far, to implement is to lower the speed limit. It only costs Saanich approximately $50 to change the sign, or $150 to place an entirely new sign. Speed bumps cost approximately 10 times that amount, create noise for nearby residents, and are a hazard for emergency vehicles.

So why not lower the speed limits?

The stock answer is that the municipality can’t afford to enforce it. Now that municipalities receive a portion of the money generated by speeding fines, this is no longer a valid excuse.

Saanich seems to be the only municipality on lower Vancouver Island that won’t lower the speed limit when residents request it. All the others appear to, and it seems to work for them.

If you are concerned about speeds in your Saanich neighbourhood, contact Community Advocates for Reduced Speed at cars.saanich@gmail.com and/or speak up at your next area community association meeting.

Bob Etheridge

Saanich