Neighbourhood speed limits review
Project update – February 2021
The City of Calgary Standard Speed Limit Bylaw was passed, which will change the default unposted speed limit within city limits to 40 km/h effective May 31, 2021.
This change may affect the speed limit on both residential and collector roads in neighbourhoods. There will be no changes to the speed limit on higher classification roads (e.g. Deerfoot Trail, Bow Trail, Anderson Road, Memorial Drive), or to playground zones.
To determine if it is safe for a collector road to have a 40 km/h speed limit there were a number of factors considered such as, how long the road is (including playground zones), if traffic calming has been installed on the road (e.g. speed humps, or cushions) if the average speed (measured by a speed study) is consistently below the current speed limit, whether the road has low traffic volume, and whether the road is a bus route.
Speed Limit effect May 31, 2021 by Ward
The City will continue to evaluate how speed limits are set within city limits on both residential and collector roads, accounting for road design, traffic volume, collision history, and other safety factors.
Feb. 1, 2021 Strategic Meeting of Council Meeting
At the February 1, 2021 Strategic Meeting of Council, the City of Calgary Standard Speed Limit Bylaw was passed. This bylaw will change the default unposted speed limit within city limits to 40 km/h effective May 31, 2021.
The following recommendations were passed at the February 1, 2021 Strategic Meeting of Council:
- Give three readings to the proposed Bylaw 1H2020, City of Calgary Standard Speed Limit Bylaw, to change the unposted speed limit from 50 km/h to 40 km/h within the city limits, with an implementation date of May 31, 2021;
- Direct Administration to post 50 km/h speed limit signs on existing unposted Collector and Neighbourhood boulevard roadways, unless roadway design already supports a lower speed;
- Direct Administration to create a framework for prioritizing reduced speed limits on Collector roadways, returning to Council with a briefing no later than Q3 2021, considering issues such as roadway design, volumes for all travel modes, collision history, 311 concerns, and presence of existing speed zones;
- Provide an update to Council no later than Q2 2023, with a preliminary summary of results achieved post-implementation, including learnings from implementation elsewhere in Alberta and Canada.
The full report from the February 1, 2021 meeting included:
- Cover report
- Summary of previous council direction
- Potential questions for a vote of the electors
- Previous report including technical and cost benefit analysis
- Proposed bylaw
The City will be working with community partners, stakeholders and residents over the coming months to develop an implementation plan, and awareness and education plan. To keep up to date with the changes that come into effect May 31, 2021 please sign up for updates.
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.
What roads will have new speed limits?
Changes to speed limits in neighbouthoods will 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 Drive 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.
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.
- At the February 1, 2021 Strategic Meeting of Council the City of Calgary Standard Speed Limit Bylaw was passed. This bylaw will change the default unposted speed limit within city limits to 40 km/h effective May 31, 2021.
- June 2016 – Pedestrian Strategy approved
- September 2018 – Notice of motion approved by City Council
- December 2018 – Safer 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 vote of the electors
- May 31, 2021 – Default unposted speed limit within city limits is 40 km/h
- Q3 2021 – Return to Council with a briefing on a framework for prioritizing reduced speed on collector roads