Winnipeg keeping eye on Calgary speed limit decision

WINNIPEG — A move to slow things down in another Canadian city could spur a speed limit debate in Winnipeg.

Calgary city council decided to lower the default residential speed limit from 50 kilometres per hour to 40 km/h.

So should Winnipeg go down a similar path and lower its 50 km/h residential speed limit?

Brian Pincott is a former Calgary city councillor now living here, and part of the advocacy group Safe Speeds Winnipeg.

He says 40 km/h is still too fast, because research shows 30 km/h is better for residential roads when it comes to saving lives and preventing serious injuries.

“In residential neighbourhoods, first and foremost, we should be putting at the top consideration the people that live there, the safety of people that live there,” said Pincott.

The city is studying lower speeds, preparing for a 30 km/h per hour pilot project on five city streets.

Infrastructure committee chair Councillor Matt Allard said the pilots can incorporate 40 km/h speeds as well.

“Many Winnipeg families worry about safety on their streets and we must continue to work on this issue,” said Allard in a statement.

But one of his colleagues, Councillor Jeff Browaty, said the trial is a waste of time. He says residential streets are designed for 50, so leave things the way they are.

“If all of a sudden, we go against engineering of those streets, we start putting up speed limits that are too slow, it becomes a cash grab and I don’t think that’s right,” said Browaty.

Calgary city council rejected holding a plebiscite on the issue.

Mayor Brian Bowman’s executive policy committee voted down a similar motion last month.

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