I am a firm believer in the quote, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”. I personally prefer to spend my time working on projects that are more valuable and serviceable to our Edmontonians, that will not only help our quality of life, but living situation. We are currently living in a time where COVID-19 is taking a toll on our lives. People are losing their jobs. People are struggling to make payments, living pay cheque to pay cheque. This is one of the reasons why I voted against the reduction of speed limits going from 50km/hr to 40km/hr. There are bigger and more important things to be worrying about right now, not to mention the price tag comes with the change of signs.
I acknowledge that there are car-related accidents that happen every day. We can all agree that we do not want speed causing fatalities; we don’t want accidents causing fatalities, period. Here’s the thing: accidents are not caused solely by speed. Generally speaking, drivers will drive to the conditions they see fit. When its icy, we automatically drive more slowly. When it’s narrow, we automatically drive slowly. There are other measures to slow driving, such as using driver feedback signs which flash your speed.
In Ward 11, we have two very distinct kinds of neighbourhood geography – one in the north where the streets are narrow and slow driving happens because of the nature of the neighbourhood. In the south, is Mill Woods. It is designed with bigger roads and is more fitted to a 50km/hr zone rather than 40km/hr. Speed issues are unique to each neighborhood. And I agree, some neighborhoods would benefit greatly with a reduced limit. The truth is, the streets is a shared responsibility between pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers when it comes to safety. Carpet bombing decisions like this are not considerate of all conditions, neighbourhoods, or constituent feedback.
Is it appropriate to spend millions of your hard-earned tax dollars on changes for new signs during a time where our money is so scarce and hard to keep in our own pockets? Should we take a blanket approach to things that need their own unique solutions? If Edmonton was a cookie-cutter city, we could do that. Yes, I agree that lower speed on impact will cause lesser injury, but it also can create a false sense of security.
Once again, we can do better.