The North Penfield subdivision west of Alder and north of Hilchey (behind the Sportsplex) is one of two areas of town that will be test cases for the city in reducing residential speed zones to 40 km/hr. Image courtesy City of Campbell River

City of Campbell River will test lower speed limits in residential areas

Subdivisions west of the Sportsplex and west of Petersen will soon have new speed limit signage

The City of Campbell River is testing the idea of lowering speed limits on some residential streets.

The North Penfield and Cheviot areas of town have been selected as the test cases for the project, which the city says will help them determine the feasibility and impact of making more of its side streets in residential neighbourhoods 40 km/hr zones in the future.

City staff was tasked back in June to come back to council with recommendations on reducing speed limits in some residential areas, and they settled on Penfield and Cheviot as starting points because they are small enough areas for a pilot project that have relatively low volumes of traffic and “already ‘look like’ lower speed streets,” according to the staff report presented at council this week.

Other areas considered were College Heights and the Westgate/Larwood/Eardly area of Willow Point, but these areas are larger, “and contain collector roadways within them, making it more difficult to lower the speed limit,” the report says, but adds these areas “may be considered in the future.”

“I’m excited to see this trial,” Coun. Michele Babchuk says, adding that they’ve been hearing concern from residents “for quite a long time” about the speed limits being too high in these areas and others. “It will be interesting to see what the effect of this is.”

Coun. Charlie Cornfield agrees.

“These two areas will make a good pilot, if you want to call it that,” Cornfield says. “From that, we should be able to see how well it works and if anything needs to be tweaked.”

Coun. Colleen Evans also agreed with the approach of slowly rolling out certain areas to gain a better understanding of whether the changes would make any difference in terms of safety, but wanted to know more about how they would actually determine that.

“In talking about how after six months there would be a report about the effectiveness of these lower speeds, I’d like to make sure there will be actual consultation with the residents and the schools directly,” Evans says. “I’d like to make sure the residents (in these areas) will be part of a consultation.”

Director of Operations Drew Hadfield says consultation will “definitely” be part of the staff report on the project’s success, which will come back to council in the spring of 2019.

Coun. Marlene Wright wanted to know what the timeline is on implementing the project, to which Hadfield responded that the change would be in place, “as soon as the signs can be ordered and able to be installed.”

The areas in question are west of the Sportsplex north of Hilchey Road as far as Juniper Drive – including Meadowbrook Drive – and west of Petersen Road from Kathleen Road on the south Treelane Road on the north, not including Highland Road.