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Residents' advocacy results in new stop signs
Following a serious two-car collision that resulted in one vehicle flipping and crashing into a tree, Karen Slater is relieved two stop signs have been installed at the intersection by her Ritchie home.

The north/south facing signs replaced yield signs following the collision on the afternoon of Aug. 22.

“Our ask for a stop sign wasn’t granted originally until this incident occurred,” Slater said.

“We needed that type of incident, unfortunately, to start any level of change.”

The collision saw one of the vehicles involved flip into a tree, ejecting one of the passengers, Matthew Bryan, from his seat.

He is currently recovering in hospital, being treated for a fractured skull, two broken ribs and a brain injury.

A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help the Bryan family during the healing process — to help cover Matthew’s existing and future bills. The goal is $5,000.

Concerned residents gathered at the Ritchie Community League a few nights after the collision.

The meeting included dialogue with support staff from the EPS Victim Services Unit who were on hand to discuss the event and what can be done to avoid a reoccurrence.

The overwhelming concern that came up was the need for traffic calming.

“The number of kids in the neighbourhood now, the level of traffic and activity happening in our neighbourhood — which is all great — but it definitely comes with side effects like short-cutting and speeding.”

The city took measures within the week, installing new stop signs. It’s a positive change, according to Slater, as this crash was just the most recent incident of its kind at 78 Avenue and 98 Street in the south-central neighbourhood.

http://www.metronews.ca/news/edmonton/2017/09/05/residents-advocacy-results-in-new-stop-signs.html
 
Maybe instead of piecemeal implementations of 30kmh zones, it's time to consider a blanket 30kmh limit in all residential neighbourhoods.

School-zone speed limits extended to include junior highs
The signs were up and the police were out in school zones across the city Tuesday as thousands of kids returned to classrooms.

The speed limit of 30 km/h has now been extended to include all 43 junior high schools in the city. The limit is enforced from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Edmonton police had a simple message for drivers: slow down and be aware when you pass through school zones.

Speed zones extended to junior highs
"If you're dropping kids off, be aware of the signage," said Sgt. Kerry Bates, the Edmonton police traffic safety co-ordinator.

"Don't be dropping kids off in the travel lanes, make sure you're at the curb in a zone dedicated for parking and not for busses. Don't do any fancy manoeuvres in traffic, like U-turns or those types of things, just because you're in a hurry.

"It falls back again on planning your trip and allowing yourself time."

Two officers manning a radar gun made sure drivers kept to the posted limit near St. Kateri School on Tuesday morning. Congestion and long lineups of parents dropping off kids did not appear to pose problems at St. Kateri in the city's southeast.

Some parents walked their kids to school. Many of those who drove chose to park several blocks away to avoid causing traffic jams at the school's roundabout.

"We're hoping to try the roundabout this year, now that they're a little bit older," said Kim Ellis, whose daughters are in Grade 1 and Grade 3 at the school. "We'll see how that goes. I think that's a good option, but for now we'll just park and walk."

Isabel Hazzard took a route that allowed her to pull up to the sidewalk in front of the school, so her kids wouldn't have to cross any streets.

"I think it's really important that everybody slows down and watches for those kids," said Hazzard.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmon...ts-extended-to-include-junior-highs-1.4275829
 
City council approves 30 km/h speed limits near Edmonton playgrounds
City council voted unanimously Tuesday to lower speed limits to 30 km/h on roads near playgrounds, sports fields and ball diamonds by the end of this year.

These areas will now have speed limits in line with those for elementary and junior high schools.

City officials say the latest speed-limit change will add no more than six seconds to a driver's commute.

"This is about prevention. If one kid gets hit out there, we'll wear that," said Coun. Dave Loken.

Once implemented, drivers will have to follow the new speed limit around playgrounds between 7:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Edmonton has 425 playgrounds, according to the city. Signs announcing the new maximum speed change will be in place before the end of this year.

Driver feedback signs and reflective tape will be added to the new signage to flag the speed limit change for drivers in those areas.

Coun. Bev Esslinger pushed to have lowered speed limits near junior highs. Those limits went into effect with the start of the school year.

Esslinger said she recently saw a young child running onto the street but because the driver was driving slowly, he was able to stop in time.

"I think it's really important that we can come together as a community to keep all children safe," she said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/playground-speed-limit-safety-traffic-1.4286590

'A benefit for all children': City approves slower playground speed limits
After a lengthy debate city councillors unanimously approved a plan to reduce speed limits around Edmonton's 435 playgrounds to 30 km/hr on Tuesday.

Currently, drivers must go 30 km/hr near schools, but can speed up to 50 km/hr once they reach the play area.

Instead of calling them school zones, the city will start referring to all areas under the new lower limit as playground zones.

“I think... unanimous support shows that council is really dedicated to showing support for Vision Zero,” said Gord Sebryk, branch manager for parks and road services.

“What we are looking for is awareness," he said, "which is really about improving safety in the city for vulnerable road users as well as all road users,” he said.

Vision Zero is a goal adopted by the City of Edmonton to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries to zero.

Administration requested a budget of approximately $1 million for the implementation.

The budget will cover installation of yellow reflective tape around signs, signs that display a driver's speed, as well as sign alerts that use LED flashing lights which are activated when drivers approach the signs.

http://www.metronews.ca/news/edmont...-approves-slower-playground-speed-limits.html
 
I'm honestly surprised it took this long. Everywhere else I have ever lived always had 30 km/h school zones.
 
Council to examine reducing speed limits in all Edmonton neighbourhoods next year
Edmonton city council approved 30 km/h speed limits near playgrounds and schools on Tuesday, and next year it will set its sights on possible speed-limit reductions in all city neighbourhoods.

The Ottewell, King Edward Park and Woodcroft neighbourhoods have already lowered their speed limits to 40km/h after a city review.

All three areas were included in a speed-reduction pilot project in 2010. So too were Twin Brooks, Westridge-Wolf Willow and Beverly Heights, however those neighbourhoods reverted back to 50 km/h.

A new draft city charter signed by the province last month allows the city to make changes to the default speed limits on residential streets.

Ron Franks lives in the Ottewell neighbourhood where the speed limit is 40 km/h. He said he is happy with the change and wouldn't mind seeing it lowered further.

"To be honest with you, in that area with the cars parking on the street, I think it should be 30[km/h]," said Franks. "If kids are playing in between the cars and they step out, 40[km/h] is too fast."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/edmonton-speed-limit-residential-1.4288953
 
Frustrated pedestrians use citizen science to put 'beg buttons' back up for debate
Darcy Reynard hates “beg buttons” so much, he created an online map and recruited Twitter users to use a stop-watch on pedestrian crossing signals across the city.

The map was soon reporting waits of more than three minutes as pedestrians or cyclists shivered in the cold, missed their bus or gave up and jaywalked.

It’s a piece of citizen science, and one reason Coun. Andrew Knack put the issue on the council agenda Tuesday.

He asked traffic engineers to report back on where, why and how the longer waits are happening. They’ll be required to explain how they decide how long to make pedestrians wait for a “walk” signal. The report is due in 12 weeks.

Darcy Reynard crowd-sourced this map of wait times at pedestrian lights across the city.

“(Long waits) increase jaywalking and pedestrian injuries,” said Reynard, a PhD student in human geography and planning at the University of Alberta.

He and others who walk and bike are upset with a specific style of traffic signal called beg buttons.

That’s where people must push a button to trigger a “walk” signal, even if there’s a green light for vehicles travelling the same direction.

Because there’s no automatic walk, beg buttons often force people to wait an entire light sequence before getting a signal to cross.

It goes against city guidelines for high-pedestrian areas, but occurs even in the downtown core.

For Reynard’s map, people submitted 134 timing points from across central Edmonton. The longest was 200 seconds (three minutes, 20 seconds). Many others averaged over one minute.

Two intersections were timed five times each. Stony Plain Road and 147 Street had an average wait of one minute, 35 seconds, while Scona Road and 94 Avenue averaged one minute, 24 seconds.

http://edmontonjournal.com/news/loc...-up-for-debate-major-irritant-for-pedestrians
 
Feel like i oughtta post this somewhere, not sure where.
Edmonton approves 40km/h in neighbourhoods - CBC
Dziadik, Nickel, Cartmell against, everyone else in support.
Throwing my two cents in, i think people are making this a flashpoint when it needn't be; it's a small change in speed for good improvements in safety. And, most of our neighbourhoods (basically anything built before 1960 and after about 2000, by my anecdotal observation/hgp210 class) are designed for these lower speeds anyways. IDK i find myself already driving max 35-40 through neighbourhoods because of all the crosswalks, intersections, schoolzones, etc, and a fear that some kid will run out in front of me from the driveway. idk. thoughts?
 
We should have gone for 30km/h, which the science shows a much more drastic reduction in fatalities and serious injuries.

1604544801661.png


If we are spending all the money making the changes and updating signage anyway, it seems to me this would have provided more value and better outcomes, for a very small difference in travel times.

In any case, I'm glad we got some reduction, and now neighbourhoods can use these new limits to build roads for lower limits with less resistance during rehabilitation.
 
Seems to be that they created a solution for a problem that doesn't exist.

It's probably not a big deal, as I don't think people are driving 50 through a lot of neighborhoods, but there are going to still be a fair number of stretches of road where the speed limit of 40 will be ridiculously low. Seems like this vision zero policy is bubble wrapping the city a little too much for my liking.
 
@jason403 I'm trying not to respond glibly, but because you don't see, recognize, or understand the problem doesn't mean it doesn't exist. If you've never been impacted (literally or figuratively) by a collision, then you're lucky. Many people aren't so lucky. This change, though still only a half-measure, will help save lives and serious injuries, period. If you don't think saving lives is worth an extremely minor inconvenience to yourself, then I don't know what to tell you.
 
The problem is that if you put the speed limit unrealistically low then there is a greater propensity to break it and you then get the stir of speeders working against slower drivers and bad overall situations where no one is safe.
And that is a significant reason for the steep incline in the graph.
 
@archited As I said before, I recognize it's not a panacea, but it is a step in the right direction; in particular when it comes to rebuilding streets during neighbourhood renewals, as they should get rebuilt as narrower streets and lanes commiserate the reduced speed limit.
 
@archited As I said before, I recognize it's not a panacea, but it is a step in the right direction; in particular when it comes to rebuilding streets during neighbourhood renewals, as they should get rebuilt as narrower streets and lanes commiserate the reduced speed limit.

This. People are frustrated when driving on 6 lane streets where they are used to driving fast. Residential streets are not arterials and should be reconstructed so the natural speed limit is set by both physical and legal limits.
 
@jason403 I'm trying not to respond glibly, but because you don't see, recognize, or understand the problem doesn't mean it doesn't exist. If you've never been impacted (literally or figuratively) by a collision, then you're lucky. Many people aren't so lucky. This change, though still only a half-measure, will help save lives and serious injuries, period. If you don't think saving lives is worth an extremely minor inconvenience to yourself, then I don't know what to tell you.

I understand your perspective and don't think it's irrational. I just don't think there's that many pedestrian deaths in Edmonton due to cars. I think 10 deaths/year was the high point over the past 20 years, and I don't believe a significant portion of them can be attributed to residential streets, and of those, don't believe many can be attributed to the speed limit.

By having any speed limit above zero, there will be a percentage of serious injuries and deaths. This is a fact of life. We can strive to do better, as we should. My line for the acceptable risk and speed limit for residential neighborhoods is simply set higher than yours. Not saying I'm right, or you're wrong, just stating my personal view.
 

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