Fairmount neighbourhood the first in Halifax to see reduced speed limit

Click to play video 'Fairmont lowers speed limit to 40 km/h' Fairmont lowers speed limit to 40 km/h
WATCH: A community in Halifax’s west end has dropped the speed limit from 50 km/h to 40 km/h. As Jesse Thomas reports, Fairmont is the first Halifax community to do so.

A new reduced speed limit has been posted in the Fairmount neighbourhood in Halifax’s west end.

On Wednesday, a public works crew spent the day touring the streets, installing nearly 50 new speed limit signs along the roadways and on hydro poles.

The drop from 50 km/h to 40 km/h received the stamp of approval from the province’s transportation department, after the municipality had made the request to reduce the speed limit in the Armadale neighborhood after complaints to city hall.

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“There’s a lot of neighbourhoods that want more control over speed and are very concerned about the speed people are traveling,” said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage.

“We probably can’t do as much in terms of calming traffic that people want, [including] speed bumps, speed humps and lights and all that, but I do think it’s worthwhile to see if we can do something in certain areas.”

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There’s hope the shift will help calm traffic, as the Fairmount neighbourhood is home to a pair of schools and many of the roads don’t have sidewalks, which puts pedestrians closer to traffic.

Brent Poole lives on Arlington Avenue and says speeding can be an issue along his street. As a father, he says he welcomes the reduced speed limit.

“I have two kids and a dog who are always out in the yard, so we’re looking forward to seeing the results and the reduced speed limit,” said Poole.

“It’s all about safety and so we’re really happy about it.”

Click to play video 'No bike lanes added to newly refurbished section of Halifax’s Quinpool road' No bike lanes added to newly refurbished section of Halifax’s Quinpool road
No bike lanes added to newly refurbished section of Halifax’s Quinpool road

The initiative is also part of HRM’s road safety action plan to foster safer roads and reduce the number of injuries and fatal collisions.

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It’s anticipated this could lead to other neighbourhoods seeking lower their posted speed limits, especially in cases where schools and community centres are located nearby.

City staff, however, said no other applications have been made to the province at this time.

“Municipal staff will continue to assess potential speed reduction implementation in other neighbourhoods and once those areas are identified an application can be submitted to the province for consideration and approval,” said HRM spokesperson Brynn Budden.

Municipalities require the approval of the provincial traffic authority to set speed limits below 50 km/h.

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Coun. Matt Whitman says he supports the speed limit reductions in key areas.

“It’s unfortunate that it’s necessary to lower the speed limit in that neighbourhood, I think there are other neighbourhoods that would want to reduce [their] speed limits as well,” said Whitman.

“I think the key will be enforcement. There’s no sense doing anything if you’re not going to enforce the rule.”

Fairmount is the first neighbourhood in HRM to reduce its speed limit.