Slower residential street speed limits will roll in, one neighbourhood at a time. Members of General Committee supported amendments to the Traffic By-law that will gradually lower speeds on residential streets from 50 to 40-kilometres per hour (km/h). This year, 10 neighbourhoods across the City will have their speed limits reduced to 40 km/h.

This amendment to the City’s Traffic By-law addresses the actions in the Transportation Master Plan related to safety goals to achieve Vision Zero that include reducing speed limits within neighbourhoods.

“The new 40 km/h speed limit in our neighbourhoods advances Vision Zero by matching speeds to the types of activity on a street,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “It will also promote active transportation by making it safer for our families to walk, ride, play and commute. It’s another tool we can use to address speeding in our neighbourhoods and help keep pedestrians and cyclists safe.”

The corporate report highlights that staff consulted with City councillors to determine priority neighbourhoods to receive the new lower 40 km/h signage in this first round.

“Reducing speed limits in our local neighbourhoods is an important part of the City’s Vision Zero initiatives that was supported by the Road Safety Committee,” said Ward 9 Councillor Pat Saito and Chair of the City’s Road Safety Committee. “It takes small steps like this one to work toward reducing the number of pedestrians injured on our roads.”

“Currently, 40 km/h speed zones are posted in front of elementary schools, but the speed limit through the rest of the neighbourhood is 50 km/h,” said Andy Harvey, Director, Traffic Management and Municipal Parking. “This amendment will see the City gradually reduce speed limits throughout the entire neighbourhood from 50 km/h to 40 km/h. The first 10 neighbourhoods will be adjusted to 40 km/h this year by placing signs at every entry and exit to a neighbourhood.”

In 2017, the Government of Ontario passed new legislation under the Safer School Zones Act (Bill 65) that amended the Highway Traffic Act, allowing municipalities to designate areas where speed limits can be lower than 50 km/hr.

The By-law will come before City Council on Oct. 9 for final approval. For more information visit the corporate report.

For more detailed information on where 40 km/h speed limits will be implemented this year visit the road safety webpage.