A report by Victoria staff recommended the city depart from the 40 km/h collaborative pilot project expected to go ahead for several other municipalities and initiate a project for a 30 km/h speed limit on side streets instead. (Black Press Media file photo)

A report by Victoria staff recommended the city depart from the 40 km/h collaborative pilot project expected to go ahead for several other municipalities and initiate a project for a 30 km/h speed limit on side streets instead. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria council gives green light to 30 km/h speed limit pilot project

Project is a departure from other Greater Victoria municipalities who are lowering speeds to 40 km/h

Victoria’s default speed limit will be reduced to 30 km/h if an application to participate in a provincial pilot project is approved.

The city’s decision deviates from other municipalities in the region, which are anticipated to participate in a group project lowering side street speeds to 40 km/h.

Currently, the default speed limit for Victoria’s residential and local roadways is set by the province at 50 km/h. But the amended Motor Vehicle Act allows pilot projects to research and test new policies, including options for reduced default speed limits.

On Thursday, Victoria council approved a staff recommendation calling for an application to participate in the province’s Motor Vehicle Act Pilot Program. The three-year project would lower speed limits on Victoria roads without a continuous centre line, aligning with council’s approved strategic plan to get speed limits down to 30 km/h in 2021.

The project is also dependent on the approval of the 2021 financial plan.

READ ALSO: Victoria cycling coalition pushing for higher standards following death of cyclist

A report from the City of Victoria’s engineering department noted reducing speed limits improves overall road safety and neighbourhood livability. The probability of death is reduced by 75 per cent when a collision between a road user and a motorist occurs at 30 km/h, compared to 50 km/h, according to the report.

Data collected by city staff showed in free-flowing traffic conditions, 84 per cent of motorists in Victoria drive at or under 38 km/h, lower than other communities in the region including Sidney and Saanich, particularly in suburban settings.

In 2019, the City of Vancouver passed a similar pilot project, reducing default speed limits for side streets to 30 km/h.

But not all local councillors were on board with the proposal. Coun. Charlayne Thornton-Joe, Geoff Young and Stephen Andrew opposed the motion.

“There are a lot of places in the city where you can go across three municipalities in the space of two or three blocks,” Young said during the meeting. “I’m very leery about any initiative that varies a lot from what we see in other municipalities.”

“My casual observation is that [30 km/h] is difficult to enforce, even in school zones,” he added. “I am concerned if we adopted this, that in fact, we would have fairly universal breaking of the speed limit.”

Coun. Sarah Potts supported the motion, pointing to studies indicating increased safety in areas with lower speed limits.

“This is something that is known to save lives and I think that should be our highest concern.”

The motion is approved pending the approval of the 2021 budget.

READ ALSO: Vancouver to pilot 30 km/hr speed limit for residential side streets


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

city councilCity of Victoriaspeed limits

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction in Oak Bay is nearly all focused on rebuilding new single-family homes and without secondary suites. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay nears regulation of secondary suites

Preliminary report hints there’s no preferred option

Victoria Police Department vehicles outside the headquarters building. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bastion Square attack leaves victim with life-altering injuries

Victoria police looking for witnesses, information

A Sooke woman is speaking up after she was almost tricked by a lottery scam, claiming she had won $950,000 with Set for Life Lottery. (File Photo)
‘I wanted it to be true so badly’: Sooke woman almost falls for lottery scam

88-year-old received letter stating she had won $950,000

Sequoia Coastal Coffee, the first coffee shop in Colwood’s Royal Bay neighbourhood, is temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 16. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood coffee shop shuts down after employee tests positive for COVID-19

Sequoia Coastal Coffee closed since Saturday, Jan. 16

A 45-metre tall call tower is proposed for Westhills Stadium. (Black Press Media file photo)
New cell tower proposed for Westhills Stadium in Langford

Tower will increase capacity in congested network: staff report

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

Most Read