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