Idea to reduce residential speed limits gets more time

By Bernice Pontanilla | Metro Winnipeg

A City committee has ordered more study into a motion requesting a decrease to 40 km/h on Winnipeg’s residential streets.

Councillors on the infrastructure renewal and public works committee voted in favour of a 60-day extension on the motion, which was originally brought to the July city council meeting by Coun. Harvey Smith (Daniel McIntyre) and Coun. Ross Eadie (Mynarski).

Cycling and walking advocate Anders Swanson delivered a detailed PowerPoint presentation to committee members, stating that in collisions between cars, pedestrians and cyclists, speed is a huge determinant of the outcomes.

“What chance do you give people?,” Swanson said. “Pedestrians have a less than 50% chance of surviving an impact at 45 km/h, pedestrians have almost no chance of surviving an impact at 80 km/h.”

Swanson used pictures from his travels in Europe to demonstrate different methods of handling traffic, be it vehicles, bikes or pedestrians.

He also showed what a street beside a Winnipeg school would look like if these European methods were used.

Committee member Coun. Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry) said she’d like the City’s administration to do a cost benefit analysis, with ideas on phased-in approaches or pilot projects.

This motion has no bearing on the speed limit in school zones, which is 30 km/h.