Victoria eyes lower speed limits in James Bay

Pilot project would see speeds reduced to 40 km/h from 50 km/h

  • Aug. 16, 2013 2:00 p.m.

A City of Victoria resolution to create a 40 km/h default speed limit across B.C. is poised to spark debate at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities convention next month in Vancouver.

But even if the resolution fails to gain support from a majority of communities at the Sept. 16-20 meetings, at least one Victoria councillor wants to set up a pilot study with lowered speed limits in James Bay.

“We’re hoping to take leadership as the capital city of B.C.,” said acting mayor Shellie Gudgeon. “Several councillors and I are going to put forward a motion (in October) to do a pilot project in a City of Victoria neighbourhood.”

The city’s UBCM resolution calls on the provincial government to lower the default speed limit for vehicles by 10 km/h. Currently, any street void of speed limit signage allows drivers to travel 50 km/h, and posting lowered speed limits can be a big expense to cash-strapped municipalities.

“Even laneways can be 50 km/h if it’s not signed,” Gudgeon said. “It’s far too fast for neighbourhoods and families.”

James Bay is an ideal neighbourhood to test a 40 km/h speed limit, she said, as it sits on a natural peninsula and would require minimum signage at major entrance points.

The idea is supported by the James Bay Neighbourhood Association, said chair Marg Gardiner, who expressed some skepticism at moving forward.

“The city administration have been talking about this for 20 years,” Gardiner said. “But where there’s a will, there’s a way. James Bay is an ideal location for a street pilot study or for a complete neighbourhood study.”

Gudgeon said major roadways like Blanshard Street could also be reviewed to potentially increase the speed limit.

“I don’t want to raise terror in anyone but there are certain arteries that perhaps could be looked at differently (or) raised to 60 km/h,” she said.

Gudgeon noted officials in Hamilton, Ont. have just launched a five-year, 30 km/h pilot study in its North End neighbourhood after residents lobbied council for more than a decade.

“It’s an idea whose time has come if you look worldwide,” she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Hydro pole fire closes portion of Metchosin Road in Colwood

Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Metchosin Road near Royal Bay

Esquimalt arsonist sentenced to two years in jail, thanks police, defence lawyer and taxpayers

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Strong winds expected in Greater Victoria Friday evening

Winds are expected to ease Saturday morning

VIDEO: The Victoria byelection leads a selection of today’s news stories

A selection of Greater Victoria top stories for Jan. 17

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

VIDEO: Missing cat reunited with Vancouver Island family after three months

‘It was like one day she was there, the next day she was gone,’ said owner

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

POLL: Has the recent snow had an impact on your daily life?

Old Man Winter had Greater Victoria in his icy grip this week.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read