Two years after a pilot project cut speed limits in a handful of neighbourhoods, City Council has passed a proposal to allow communities to ask to have the speed limit reduced on their streets.

On Wednesday, councillors passed the proposal to allow communities to ask to have their speed reduced - with 60 percent support.

“I don’t know what the harm is in asking people to slow down where kids are playing,” Councillor Amarjeet Sohi said.

“It’s not changing or adding to people’s commute time significantly.”

In 2010, at a cost of $500,000 the city introduced a pilot project, which cut the speed limit in six residential areas to 40 kilometres an hour, down from 50.

After the project ended, three of the communities chose to keep the slower speed.

“The evidence shows very clearly that if you reduce the average speed, not just in neighbourhoods but across the city, everything goes down,” Transportation Manager Bob Boutilier said. “Collisions, injuries go down and that’s really our focus.”

However, those against the project said it would be expensive, and might not work.

“If all of the neighbourhoods in Edmonton opted for this, it would cost $12.5 million,” Councillor Kerry Diotte said. “That’s a big chunk of change, that’s a one percent tax hike.”

“The biggest speeders in any neighbourhood, we all know live there,” Mayor Stephen Mandel said. “All people have to do is call up the police and say ‘I saw such and such speeding’.”

Regardless, now the proposal has passed, and city transportation officials will research other ways of handling speeding drivers, including speed bumps or increased enforcement – in addition to lowering the speed limit.

Officials will then put together a plan, which will go before City Council in the fall.

With files from Brenna Rose