A reduced speed limit, posted at 30 km/h outside of junior high schools will become law in September. City council’s executive committee amended the bylaw Tuesday as the next step in the process. It was first talked about shortly after the first school zones in decades was brought in for elementary schools.
All through the debate Coun. Bev Esslinger has wondered about eventually adding high schools to the mix. She was not at City Hall on Tuesday, because of other council business that took her to China. However she has argued in the past that since high school age students are the ones learning to drive, it makes sense to move in that direction.
“I don’t think I would have a problem with it on the onset,” said Coun. Michael Oshry. “A lot of these high schools are quite big now and they’ve hundreds of kids or thousands milling about just the schools on the roads, catching the bus or driving themselves so I don’t think there’d be a huge push back on that either.”
Oshry said after the initial couple of months when some drivers took a little time to adjust to the slower speeds outside schools, he hasn’t had any complaints. “Not one. I haven’t had one phone call or one email from somebody with any concerns about lowering the speed limit to thirty in the school zones or complaints from the existing thirty km speed limits in the elementary zones.”
Coun. Michael Walters believes transportation officials will have new speed limits to cover high schools, but not in the way Junior Highs were included a year ago. “There’s a conversation coming back about 40/30-K on local roads,” Walters said. “I suppose that will largely cover most of the schools except for the ones on arterials.”
A report on reducing the speed limit on local roads is expected to be updated later this summer.
Over the next few weeks, school zone speed limit signs will be installed at 22 Edmonton junior high schools. The remaining 21 junior high schools will have speed limit signs installed over the summer.