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Mandel wants higher speed limit on Whitemud, despite new report’s recommendations

EDMONTON – Mayor Stephen Mandel says he still wants the speed limit on Edmonton’s Whitemud freeway to be increased, even though a new report recommends keeping the speed limit at 80 kilometres an hour.

Back in May, the Transportation Committee asked the city’s administration to review the idea of changing the speed on the freeway – a request similar to one made 13 years ago.

The latest report has found 85 per cent of people travel within 10 kilometres per hour of the current posted limit. It also says sharp curves, a left lane exit at Terwillegar and short on and off ramps would make increasing the speed limit too dangerous.

The mayor says the arguments don’t sit well with him.

“I think it’s ridiculous to have it that low. The Henday is 100. They’re arguing different access and egresses. Well, then we should’ve designed it better. But I travel the Whitemud all the time. I don’t have any problem getting on and off,” he says. “I think if you’re going to have a freeway and move people through the city, having a higher speed limit would be more preferable.”

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Next week, Mandel plans to make a motion to increase the speed limit by even 10 km/hr.

“I think people are going that speed anyway, it just allows the city to be more practical.”

Ashley Antonio wouldn’t be opposed to that, but she does see the other side as well.

“I’ve seen some people jumping into the other lane at the last minute because they don’t know the Terwillegar turn is there. So yeah, I can definitely see those as good reasons for keeping it the way it is.”

A committee and then Council would have to approve any motion for any speed limit changes, meaning anxious drivers might want to avoid the accelerator – at least for a while.

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You can read the report below:

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