After nearly a year in the making, the idea of dropping speed limits in school zones returns to City Hall.
Last March, Councillor Virginia Ridley put the idea forward. She appeared to be taking a cue from the province when she made the request, as Ontario is currently considering reducing the speed limit on all residential streets from 50 to 40 km/hour.
In a report headed to Monday’s meeting of the Civic Works Committee, staff recommend dropping the speed in designated areas down to 40, citing stats on the risk of pedestrian fatalities in relation to vehicle speed.
Staff have also recommended that school zones be enlarged to run 150 metres around the school property and the reduced speed limit would stay in effect 24 hours a day, rather
than during school hours only.
The Thames Valley District school board is recommending 30 km/h in school zones, while the Catholic Board has not made a recommendation at this point.
A public consultation meeting has also been recommended, so Londoners can have a chance to share their thoughts.
In London, the three school boards have 103 elementary schools and 22 secondary schools. There are also six private schools. The majority of schools are located on streets with a posted speed limit of 50 km/h.
According to the report, the cost of changing school zones and the speed limit is estimated to be about $100,000 for 480 signs. Adding solar powered flashing beacons to a sign is estimated to be $5,000 per location, which would add an additional $1,200,000 to the cost of the program.
If adopted, the report claims implementation of the School Zone Speed Limit program could be done over the following two years utilizing existing resources and budgets.
City officials in Guelph recently implemented reduced speed limits in school zones, between 30 and 40 km/hour.
Monday’s meeting begins at 1p.m.