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Cold Lake council takes steps towards 40km/h speed limit

Cold Lake is starting to consider the details involved in lowering the standard speed limit in the community.

The speed limit in residential and minor collector roadways would change from 50km/h to 40 km/h.

The issue was first brought forward by Councillor Vicky Lefebvre for debate last December and then referred to the Corporate Priorities Committee for further debate.

The Corporate Priorities Committee includes all councilors and the mayor. They publicly discuss issues in-depth before they are brought to a regular council meeting for decisions.

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The committee felt there have been enough studies done regarding the issue of lowering speed limits in several other communities that a Cold-Lake-specific study would not be required for council to make an initial decision.

The following benefits have all been found if a community lowers its speed limit:

  • slower speeds increase the time that a driver has to respond
  • less damage is caused when a collision occurs
  • injuries are less severe

Council has requested that the administration prepare a report showing how lower speed limits could be implemented and what the costs would be.

“Ultimately, we felt that it was worth going further with the discussion and have administration bring us more information about what the changes would look like and what it would take to implement them,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “If we feel that it is something we want to pursue, Council can discuss whether further public consultation is required to gather the community’s feedback before the plan is finalized.”

Administration is putting together a report for a future council meeting with a draft on how to implement the lower speed limit as well as a budget for the cost and timeline for the project.

“It’s important to note that no final decisions have been made,” Copeland said. “We will be taking into account the studies that have been done, the experiences other communities have had with speed limit changes, and the plan our administration brings forward before a decision is made to move this to the point where public consultation may be required.”

The Corporate Priorities Committee says it is important to have standards that are applied consistently across the entire road system in order to avoid liabilities that could come with one-off solutions.

Other possible solutions could include:

  • Traffic calming measures in problem areas
  • Increased enforcement
  • The use of display signs that show drivers how fast they are traveling and whether they comply with the speed limit.
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