EDMONTON -- City speed limits are a topic at city hall again Wednesday.

The Community and Public Services Committee is discussing two proposed speed scenarios for residential or core zone speeds.

City administration reported earlier in February on the varying work, cost and effect of:

  • Reducing residential and collector road speed zones from 50 km/h to 40 km/h; and
  • Lowering speed limits in Edmonton's core zone to 30 km/h.

The first option was found to be quicker and cheaper to implement, but had a lower estimated impact than changing speed limits in all of Edmonton's 400 residential neighbourhoods.

Julie Kusiek, of the Livable Streets Edmonton group, told CTV News Edmonton, "We know that 30 kilometres is the right answer and the core zone represents an opportunity to get us started." 

Councillors are split, with some believing the 40 km/h limit outside the core wouldn't do enough, and others wanting to see a city-wide 30 km/h default. 

Ward 1 Coun. Andrew Knack suggested, "You could simply combine the two. There's nothing stopping us from doing that." 

As part of the discussion, the committee heard from 27 members of the public, including other representatives from various community leagues and Paths for People.

A father whose son died in a crash was among the first to speak. 

"Maybe the driver who killed our David would have been in less of a rush, and she would have seen him in the intersection," Steve Finkelman told those at the meeting. 

"Motorists think that this is some war on cars and it's not. It's just a matter of trying to figure out how to make things safer for everybody."

Another speaker, James O'Neill commented, "Collisions can still happen because drivers make mistakes, and sadly, they do it out of inattention and error more than they do it out of speed."

Council will make a decision on March 9.