April 29, 2014 5:50 pm

Scona Road speed limit won’t be increased

EDMONTON – Edmonton City Council has defeated a motion to increase the speed limit on Scona Road. However, the city will look at how photo enforcement is used.

On Tuesday, council voted 7-6 against a proposal to raise the speed limit to 60 km/h from Saskatchewan Drive to the Low Level Bridge.

Coun. Bryan Anderson  had suggested the increase because many motorists drive above the current 50 km/h limit.

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“There’s a whole lot of people that feel comfortable on that road that are going to be paying out of their pocket for a speed limit that really doesn’t suit the road,” said Anderson, after the motion was defeated on Tuesday.

“We had a good opportunity to make, I think, a realistic change which would allow me to defend the use of photo radar. There’s zero photo radar tickets on Fox Drive, on Connor’s Road, because they are four-lane roads that go in both directions and have a speed limit of 60.”

Anderson said the median speed on Scona Road is 61.64 km/h.

“Sometimes we have to choose safety over convenience,” said Coun. Bev Esslinger, who voted against the motion.

While the speed limit isn’t going up, a report on how photo enforcement is used is underway.

“I do think we need to have a broader conversation about photo radar, about how we’re using it, and we’re going to have that,” said Mayor Don Iveson.

“To try to have it through Scona Road actually was making it harder on ourselves.”

Iveson said council will likely be able to discuss the report on how photo enforcement is used, what’s changed since last year, and the results it’s getting, within the next couple of months.

Coun. Ben Henderson said the community asked that photo radar be used to crack down on speeding on Scona Road.

“We need to take the opportunity we have to get people to slow down, which is all the community is asking for,” he said, “and this was one of the tools we had to do it.”

“We don’t do it because we want to make money,” he added of photo radar. “We do it because we want people to slow down.”

“Scona Road has had more debate than any other road that I know of,” said a city administrator.

The road was recently upgraded to include a third southbound lane.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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