City of Vancouver testing first 30 km/h ‘slow zone’ near Commercial Drive

The City of Vancouver is testing out a new "slow zone" in an East Vancouver neighbourhood. Getty Images

Starting Wednesday, drivers on residential streets in an East Vancouver neighbourhood will have their speed capped at 30 km/h as the city tests out a new “slow zones” concept.

The slow zone extends east-west between Clark Drive and Commercial Drive and north-south between Grandview Highway North and First Avenue.

Read more: Vancouver school and playground zones to be 30 km/h all day, every day

Signage and paint markers have been deployed reminding drivers of the new, lower speed limit.

The specific neighbourhood in the Grandview-Woodlands area was selected due to common speeds and collisions in the area, along with the presence of children, seniors and community amenities in the area.

Click to play video: 'City of Vancouver approves temporary 30-k speed limit on side streets' City of Vancouver approves temporary 30-k speed limit on side streets
City of Vancouver approves temporary 30-k speed limit on side streets – May 14, 2019

City council approved the slow zone pilot project in July last year, as a part of the city’s “Moving Towards Zero” action plan aimed at reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries.

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“Slower motor vehicle speeds dramatically improve safety for people walking and cycling,” the city said in a media release.

Read more: Proposal seeks to drop default speed limits on residential B.C. streets to 30 km/h

“According to studies completed by the World Health Organization, higher speeds equal higher probability of fatality. For example, when a vehicle hits a pedestrian at 30 km/h the probability of fatality is 15 per cent. The probability of a fatality increases to 50 per cent when the speed is 50 km/h.”

Last summer, the city moved to extend 30 km/h speed limits in school and playground zones to 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Under the provincial Motor Vehicle Act, speed limits are currently 50 km/h on all Vancouver streets, unless otherwise posted. A blanket reduction in speed limits on local streets has been a city goal since 1997.

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