Kitchener city council votes to lower speed limits to 40 km/h in residential areas
Kitchener city council voted to approve lowering speed limits in residential areas at a Monday night meeting.
Currently, the speed limit on residential streets in Kitchener is 50 km/h, but a proposal presented to council suggested lowering that to 40 km/h, with school zones dropped down to 30 km/h.
"This is one tool in trying to help decrease speeds, and as a member of council, this is one issue I hear most about," said Coun. Kelly Galloway-Sealock. "I think it's important for us to take any steps we can to try and decrease the speed on roads."
Council voted in favour of the plan on Monday night. Coun. John Gazzola was the only vote against it.
"I realize that speeding is an issue, but we're not getting a good bang for our dollar," he said. "We're spending $550,000 to put signs up all over the place."
The recommendation was brought to city council earlier in October following the Neighbourhood Speed Limit Pilot Project that was launched in 2019 by Transportation Services.
The pilot project lowered speed limits in three Kitchener neighbourhoods.
According to city staff, the project saw drivers in those areas slow down by one to 11 per cent.
Kitchener's transportation manager Aaron McCrimmon-Jones said lowering speed limits will make roads safer.
"A 15 per cent survival rate increased to 70 per cent if somebody is hit by a car if somebody is driving 40 (km/h) rather than 50 (km/h)," he said.
The project is estimated to cost the city $550,000. The price tag includes new signage and installation as well as community education.
During the Monday night meeting, city staff said the project would likely take two years to complete as workers need to install more than 1,000 signs throughout the city. Only when the signs are installed do the new speed limits come into effect.