Of course, if you ask me we need to cut the speed limit on almost all roads in the city, but if we have to hen peck, we might as well safeguard school zones first. It's kind of a sad reflection on the times that people can't even rein in their lead foot and distractions to keep the roads around schools safe, but I suppose that's why the city is acting. Starting today, the posted speed limits in and around the city's 45 school zones will be reduced from 40 kilometres per hour to 30. The entire process will take the the better part of the next two months, so local drivers will have to be on their guard and watch for the changes.
Here's the city press release:
Guelph, ON, March 31, 2014 – Starting in April, the City of Guelph is implementing reduced speed limits in elementary school zones across the city.
“School zones are busy places, especially in the morning and afternoon when children are walking to and from school,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “The new lower speed limits will help make it safer for children, parents, crossing guards, and anyone else walking in the area.”
Speed limits in school zones on arterial roads will be reduced to 40 km/h and will be in effect on school days from 8-9 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. In addition, school zone speed limits on collector and local roads will be reduced to 30 km/h and will be in effect at all times.
“While we acknowledge that the primary function of the roadway is to move traffic, the reduced speed limits reinforce the need to reduce speed and watch for pedestrians,” explained Allister McIlveen, manager of Traffic and Parking.
The speed limits will come into effect as the signs are installed. Once a sign has been unveiled, the speed limit is in effect and will be enforceable by Guelph Police Service.
“As a community, we all share a responsibility to ensure the safety of our children, youth and crossing guards. Starting in April, the Guelph Police Service will enhance our school zone enforcement as part of a road safety campaign that will focus on ensuring motorists obey the new reduced speed limits while promoting safe driving,” said Chief Bryan Larkin, Guelph Police Service.
Sign installation will begin in April, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of May 2014.
“School zones across the city have been venues of escalating congestion and activity for students and the public. This initiative by the City of Guelph is a welcome measure to reduce risk and enhance the safety of everyone associated with these particular areas of concern,” remarked Don Drone, Director of Education at the Wellington Catholic District School Board.
“Our board actively encourages students to walk to school, but traffic congestion, distracted driving and speeding near schools is a serious concern. I’m sure every parent will be applauding the City of Guelph’s efforts to protect children,” noted Mark Bailey, Chair of the Upper Grand District School Board.
Speed limits will be implemented at forty-five elementary schools, including all public, catholic and private elementary schools within the city of Guelph.
The Council approved budget for this initiative is $210,000.