More than 10 municipalities in the Capital Regional District will join Saanich in a road speed reduction pilot. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich in driver’s seat for residential road speed reduction pilot project

District recruits 10 CRD municipalities to join pilot project to look at 40 km/h residential limit

Nearly a dozen municipalities across the Capital Regional District (CRD) could see lower speed limits on residential roads starting this fall.

According to Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes, the District of Saanich has recruited 10 other local municipalities for a pilot project to look at reducing residential road speeds to 40 km/h through the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA).

This has “never been done before” but it’s “a long time coming” for Saanich and the region, he said. A “blanket reduction in residential road speeds” would bring about much-needed changes in local driver behaviour and “improve the family experience” across the region, Haynes explained.

In November 2019, Haynes penned a letter to B.C. Premier John Horgan calling for a province-wide residential road speed reduction within the MVA. Currently, the speed limit in municipalities is 50 km/h unless otherwise posted, but Haynes cited high collision rates in saying speeds should be reduced to 40 km/h on residential roads – those without a centre line.

At the time, he explained that while municipal governments have the power to change local speed limits with bylaws, doing so presents financial barriers and could leave the region with a lack of speed consistency.

In February, the Ministry of Transportation explained that a province-wide speed reduction was a big undertaking and instead invited Saanich to take part in a two-phase road safety pilot project – enabled by an amendment to the MVA – which would allow the municipality to work with the province to reduce the default residential road speeds.

Saanich council accepted the province’s invitation in March and invited other mayors across the CRD to do the same. So far, 10 have agreed to join Saanich in considering the pilot project which could last up to three years, Haynes said.

Haynes added that while he couldn’t reveal which municipalities had agreed to take part, he said conversations have been “very productive” with all CRD municipalities. The goal is to avoid a “patchwork” of road speeds across the region so Haynes is hoping that more municipalities join in.

He added that he’s “really proud that Saanich is leading on this.” The pilot project will provide the province with data regarding residential road speed reductions and will allow to the B.C. government to assess whether the MVA should be “modernized,” Haynes said.

He noted that applications for the pilot project will open sometime in September.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanichspeed limits

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

Just Posted

Saanich police are warning residents that rutting season has begun and deer may get their antlers tangled in items left in yards. (Saanich Police Department/Twitter)
Deer with items tangled in antlers spotted in Saanich as rutting season begins

Police, B.C. Conservation Service warn of possibly aggressive bucks through fall

Police will be diverting traffic between Island View Road and Amity Drive from 12 to 1 p.m. Oct. 23. (Google Maps)
Section of Pat Bay Highway closes for Mi’kmaq fishing rights demonstration

Police will be diverting traffic Oct. 23 from noon to 1 p.m between Island View Road and Amity Drive

Oulette the Great Horned owl was spotted alive just days after her mate, Ollie, was found dead from suspected rat poisoning on Oct. 17. (Photo by Cheryl Redhead)
Great Horned owl mate found alive in Cuthbert Holmes Park

Oulette spotted in tree above where male Ollie died of suspected poisoning

Saanich firefighters were called out to Hartland Road on Oct. 21 to help transport a mountain biker with neck and back injuries out of the woods. (Black Press Media file photo)
Patient with neck, back injuries rescued from Saanich bike trails

Saanich firefighters called in to help paramedics with transportation off Mount Work

Saanich South Liberal candidate Rishi Sharma commits to addressing issues at the five-way intersection of Interurban and Wilkinson roads in partnership with the municipality if elected. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich South Liberal candidate commits to improving Interurban/Wilkinson intersection

‘Confusing five-way intersection,’ needs attention, Rishi Sharma says

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Our Home on 8th, the Port Alberni Shelter that opened in March 2019, has 27 extra ‘extreme weather’ spaces for people who need a place to get out of the cold. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BC VOTES 2020: Mid-Island candidate plans occupation of shelter to protest homelessness

Graham Hughes says homeless situation a ‘crisis’ in Port Alberni

Parksville’s Jared Huggan won $75,000 playing BC/49. (BCLC/Photo submitted)
Vancouver Island man $75K richer after purchasing winning lottery ticket at Nanaimo Walmart

Parksville’s Huggan plans to purchase electric bike for partner

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for parts of Vancouver Island for Thursday and Friday.(File photo)
Snowfall expected in parts of Vancouver Island this week

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for north, east and inland Vancouver Island

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter. Photo supplied
Wanted man from Calgary may be on Vancouver Island

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter

FILE – A voting package for the 2018 electoral reform referendum. Vote-by-mail packages for the 2020 provincial election will look similar, according to information provided by Elections BC. (Katya Slepian - Black Press Media)
POLL: Have you voted yet?

As election day quickly approaches, hundreds of thousands of British Columbians have… Continue reading

Most Read