Playground speed zones a possibility for Saskatoon drivers

The City is considering revamping Saskatoon speed zones, specifically on streets surrounding children’s playgrounds. File / Global News

SASKATOON – The City of Saskatoon is considering revamping speed zones, specifically on streets surrounding kids’ playgrounds.

Ward 1 councillor Darren Hill raised the “Child at Play Speed Zone” enquiry in June 2013.

Currently, motorists must currently slow to 30 kilometres per hour in school zones from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Sept. 1 to June 30 except on weekends.

At a committee meeting on Monday, city administration explored the idea of expanding zone restrictions to public playgrounds with paddling pools or spray parks, especially during the summer months.

“Primarily during summer when there’s spray pads or paddling pools in operation we do see a lot of pedestrian activity and we want to make sure we’re creating a safe environment for all pedestrians,” said Angela Gardiner, the city’s transportation branch manager.

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In 2001, school zone speeds in Saskatoon were set at 30 km/h.

Recent civic studies over the last decade have shown motorists continue to speed through the reduced speed zones, on an average of 10 km/h over the set limit.

Gardiner indicated that reducing the speed limit doesn’t increase child pedestrian safety, requires extensive police enforcement efforts and also traffic calming measures are more effective.

Administration is projecting $50,000 to undertake a review.

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