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Sunday , 22 May 2022

City of Cold Lake Council to take closer look at 40km/h speed limit

At Council’s Corporate Priorities Committee meeting held this week, a decision was made to have council consider the details involved in lowering the standard speed limit in the community.

Council first considered the issue when a notice of motion was brought forward by Councillor Vicky Lefebvre to have the issue debated at a meeting in December last year. The issue was then referred to the Corporate Priorities Committee for further debate. The Corporate
Priorities Committee is essentially a committee of the whole, made up of all councilors and the mayor. It publicly discusses issues in depth before they are brought to a regular council meeting for decisions.

The committee felt that the issue of lowering speed limits had been studied enough in several other communities that no Cold-Lake-specific study would be required for council to make an initial decision. These studies all showed that slower speeds increase the time that
a driver has to respond and that, when a collision does occur, less damage is caused, and injuries are less severe. Council requested that administration prepare a report showing how lower speed limits could be implemented, and the associated costs and work required to do
so. The committee was open to having council consider lowering the speed limit in residential and minor collector roadways to 40 km/h from 50km/h.

“Ultimately, we felt that it was worth going further with the discussion and have administration bring us more information about what the changes would look like and what it would take to implement them,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “If we feel that it is something we want to pursue, Council can discuss whether further public consultation is required to gather the community’s feedback before the plan is finalized.”

Administration will bring a report to a future council meeting with a draft plan for implementing lower speed limits on certain types of roads in the community, as well as an estimated budget and timeline for implementation and any implications the changes may have – such as changes to the public transportation schedule.

“It’s important to note that no final decisions have been made,” Copeland said. “We will be taking into account the studies that have been done, the experiences other communities have had with speed limit changes, and the plan our administration brings forward before a decision is made to move this to the point where public consultation may be required.”

The Corporate Priorities Committee heard that when it comes to speed limits, as well as with many other municipal standards, it is important to have standards that are applied consistently across the entire road system in order to avoid liabilities that could come with one-off solutions. Other possible solutions include traffic calming measures in problem areas, increased enforcement, and the use of display signs that show drivers how fast they are travelling and whether they comply with the speed limit.

About Arthur C. Green

Arthur C. Green is an award winning journalist and is from Whitbourne Newfoundland. Green graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked for such organizations as CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire, Great West Media, CKLB Radio, River Radio, Vista Radio, and Postmedia. He also loves Jiggs Dinner and can fillet a Codfish.