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Speed limits forces Victoria city council back to drawing board

Speed limits across B.C. may not be changing, but Victoria could still move ahead with pilot projects for some thoroughfares across the city.

At the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities conference last week in Vancouver, City of Victoria councillors were unable to convince a majority of their colleagues that default speed limits need to be lowered to 40 km/h for residential areas.

About 60 per cent of municipalities were opposed to the resolution, said Coun. Shellie Gudgeon.

“That’s not a terrible defeat, given we’re dealing with a lot of rural communities in the province. There was good discussion and good dialogue,” she said.

Victoria council is expected to discuss possible pilot projects for lowered speed limits sometime next month. Gudgeon hopes her fellow councillors consider examples in Esquimalt and Oak Bay where the municipality has decreased speed limits on certain streets to promote shared road usage.

“I’ll talk to my colleagues on council to see if there’s the willingness to look at pilot projects on perhaps Cook Street or Quadra Street,” she said.

Highway speed limits are currently being reviewed by the province following an order by Transportation Minister Todd Stone. The review, which began earlier this month, is expected to address the risks and benefits of raising speed limits on many rural highways across the province.

Gudgeon stressed she’s also willing to consider raising speed limits along major arteries like Blanshard and Douglas streets as well.

Council meets Thursday (Sept. 26), but speed limits are not on the agenda.

 

 

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