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Neighbourhood speed limits review

Project update – November 2020

The Public Hearing for the proposed reduction of speed limits on residential and collector roadways was held on November 2, 2020.  At that meeting Council directed administration to:

  1. Refer this item to administration to consider a potential vote of the electors during the 2021 Municipal Election;
  2. Develop potential questions to be placed to the electors; and,
  3. Return to the 2021 February 1 Strategic Meeting of Council to discuss this and other potential questions for a Vote of the Electors in the 2021 municipal election.

There will also be two recommendations forwarded to Council at the February 1, 2021 Council meeting including:

  1. Give three readings to the proposed City of Calgary Standard Speed Limit Bylaw to change the unposted speed limit from 50 km/h to 40 km/h within city limits.
  2. Direct administration to post 50 km/h speed limit signs on existing Collector roadways unless or until a credible environment for a slower speed limit is provided.

Also at the November 2, 2020 meeting, Council approved the following recommendation:

  1. Direct Administration to work with industry partners to revise Collector standards to support 40 km/h roadways and to revise Residential standards to support 30 km/h roadways, and to apply those standards in new communities and for retrofit projects on existing city roadways.

The City will begin working to revise the design standards in the coming months, and will be a separate piece of work from Council’s review of the unposted speed limit.

For the majority of Calgarians, changes to speed limits on residential and collector roads will add under two minutes to your daily commute. You can test this out yourself with the travel time calculator that was developed by University of Calgary students, as part of The City’s Hackathon event.

Proposed Neighbourhood road changes by Ward

The recommendations being put forward would only apply to residential and collector roads. There are no proposed changes to playground zones or higher classification roads (e.g. Deerfoot Trail, Bow Trail, Anderson Road, Memorial Road etc.)

  • Residential roads are the roads in front of most houses, typically have no center line, and have less traffic. 
  • Collector roads have residences, schools, businesses, green spaces, typically have a center line, and are often bus and snow routes.

See the proposed changes to your road speed limits in your Ward:

Project background

The Residential Speed Limits Review aims to improve traffic safety for all users by reviewing operating speeds on Calgary’s residential streets. Learn more about The City's traffic safety programs.

In Calgary, traffic collisions account for a total societal cost of approximately $1.2 billion a year which include medical costs, first responder costs, property damage and lost productivity. As part of the Council-approved Safer Mobility Plan, a key target is to achieve a 12 per cent reduction in the pedestrian and bicycle casualty collision rate per population of 100,000 based on a three-year rolling average.

Recent studies have shown that a 1% reduction in average driving speed is expected to result in a 2% reduction in all collisions, a 3% reduction in injury collisions and a 4% reduction in fatal collisions. Reducing driving speeds in residential neighbourhoods can also help Calgarians feel safer and more comfortable when moving around in their community, whether they choose to walk, cycle or drive.

Project status

  • The project team has completed a thorough review of various options to reduce operating speeds in neighbourhoods through changes in the unposted and posted speed limits on roads.
  • Administration will return to the February 1, 2021 Strategic Meeting of Council with recommendations on a potential plebiscite.

Project timelines

  • June 2016Pedestrian Strategy approved
  • September 2018 – Notice of motion approved by City Council
  • December 2018Safer Mobility Plan (2019-2023) approved
  • October 2019 – Report back to SPC on Transportation and Transit and City Council
  • September 2020 – Recommendations to SPC on Transportation and Transit
  • November 2, 2020 – Public hearing on Bylaw
  • February 1, 2021 – Strategic meeting of Council with recommendations on a potential plebiscite
  • Summer 2021 – New speed limits in neighbourhoods take effect (if approved)

More information

Report to Council