This September, Chestermere will join communities across the province by implementing harmonized playground and school zone speed limits.
“We looked at the overwhelming evidence that having a consistent speed limit at consistent times reduces collisions,” says Mayor Marshall Chalmers. “Safety is of the utmost importance in our community, and we are keen to add these measures to protect the children of our city.”
After implementation on September 3, the speed limits for all playground and school zones in the City of Chestermere will be 30 km/h from 7:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. every day.
Council passed the change on August 20 at their Council meeting following a presentation from Municipal Enforcement and a public consultation period.
“We took a look at the results of other communities that have implemented harmonized speed limits,” says Peace Officer Sergeant Trever Bowman. “Cities like Calgary and Edmonton are reporting up to 70% decreases in collisions with pedestrians and cyclists. This is a simple change that has significant results to improve traffic safety.”
In addition to reducing collisions, evidence shows that harmonized school and playground zones contribute to an overall reduction in speeds through these areas, improves drivers’ memory of speed limits, and generally improves safety for vulnerable road users.
“This is one more way we are contributing to keeping Chestermere kids safe,” says Deputy Mayor Ritesh Narayan. “We know that many parents do a wonderful job educating their kids about road safety, and many drivers are very conscious when driving through these areas. By harmonizing school and playground zones, this is one more piece of the puzzle that will help make our streets safer for everyone.”
While Council indicated that they appreciated the input of residents who participated, and valued the comments provided from both sides of the discussion, the number of formal respondents to the poll (71) was too small to determine if the results were representative of the views of the community as a whole.