The City of Calgary recently passed the City of Calgary Standard Speed Limit Bylaw which reduces the unposted speed limit to 40 km/h as of May 31, 2021. Attached you will find more information for your employees and clients as they travel on neighbourhood streets. The changes to the default speed limit are only on neighbourhood streets and do not impact higher speed roads such as Crowchild Trail, Memorial Drive, or Anderson Road. Industrial areas, as well as parts of downtown core, are also not included in this change. We have included information for you to share with your employees & clients, along with answers to frequently asked questions. Please visit to calgary.ca/saferspeed to see where speed limits are changing in neighbourhoods. Thank you for sharing this information to help keep our neighbourhoods safe.
Neighbourhood Speed LimitsFrequently Asked Questions
Why has The City reduced speed limits on neighbourhood streets?
Speed, and the perception of speeding, is a consistent concern The City has heard from residents. There are an average 9,100 collisions per year on streets inside Calgary neighbourhoods. An average of 550 of those result in serious injury or death.
We expect the change to neighbourhood speed limits will reduce collisions in neighbourhoods, and have a high rate of compliance with Calgarians. This change is the first stop first step in a long term plan for road safety in Calgary, for everyone who uses our streets.
When do new speed limits come into effect?
The new unposted speed limit of 40 km/h comes into effect on May 31, 2021.
What roads will have a new speed limit?
The changes to speed limits only apply to residential and collector roads. There are no proposed changes to playground zones, or higher classification roads like Deerfoot Trail, Anderson Road, Memorial Drive, or Bow Trail.
Residential roads are the roads in front of most houses, and typically have no centre line, and have less traffic. Collector roads also have residences, schools, business, and green spaces, and also typically have a centre line. Collector roads are often bus routes and snow routes. You can visitcalgary.ca/saferspeed to find out where changes are happening across the city.
How did The City decide if a collector road would be 40 km/h?
To determine if it is safe for a collector road to have a 40 km/h speed limit there were a number of factors considered such as, how long the road is (including playground zones), if traffic calming has been installed on the road (e.g. speed humps, or cushions) if the average speed (measured by a speed study) is consistently below the current speed limit, whether the road has low traffic volume, and whether the road is a bus route.
Will all residential roads have 40 km/h signs?
Most residential roads in the city currently do not have speed limit signs. As this change is to the defaultunposted speed limit, The City will not be installing new signs on most residential roads. Collector roads which have been reduced to a 40 km/h speed limit will have new speed limit signs installed. Also, collector roads that currently do not have speed limit signs, will have 50 km/h speed limit signs installed. We encourage Calgarians to visit calgary.ca/saferspeed to find out where speed limits are changing.
Will there be more enforcement if the speed limit is reduced?
Similar to when The City harmonized school and playground zones, The City will be working with Calgary Police Services on an education and awareness campaign. Many collector roads will remain at 50 km/h, and we will be taking an education first approach when the new speed limit comes into effect on residential roads.
Does this impact playground zones?
No. All existing playground zones will remain in place with a 30 km/h speed limit between 7:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.
What’s the cost for lowering the speed limit?
The cost to install 50 km/h signs on collector roads, which do not currently have signs is $2.3 million. All of the costs related to implementation will be covered under existing budgets. With this change, we anticipate there will be 90 to 450 fewer collisions on neighbourhood streets. The estimated societal costs of collisions on our roads is $1.12 billion, annually.
Will this increase my commute time?
Because the changes to speed limits are on residential and collector roadways, the impact for mostCalgarians’ will be under two minutes. We encourage Calgarians to go to calgary.ca/saferspeed to see where speed limits are changing.
Will there be impacts to transit?
There are no anticipated impacts to existing transit routes, with these changes. Calgary Transit does not have many routes on residential roads, and many collector roads will remain at 50 km/h, so there is a minimal impact to existing route trip times.
Will The City still address safety concerns on roads where the speed limit isn’tchanging?
Yes. Our investments in traffic safety, through the Calgary Safer Mobility Plan, typically focus on higher classification roadways with higher traffic volumes. These locations usually have clear patterns of collisions which are more appropriate for spot treatments to address common issues. We will continue to prioritize safety improvements within available budgets.
Are emergency vehicles exempt from speed limits?
Yes. The regulations of the Traffic Safety Act list specific exclusion for emergency response vehicles regarding speed limits, when reasonable and safe to do so, in Clause 63(1)(a). First responders will be among the key stakeholders engaged in any future work regarding design and operational changes to support lower speed limits, to maintain existing response times.
Doesn’t a lower speed limit mean more time on the road, and more emissions?
Alberta Health Services was a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the project and shared literature references which highlight that lower travel speeds and more consistent speed limits lead to lower levels of pollution. A referenced study noted that reducing speeds from 50 km/h to 30 km/h was found to reduce overall emissions by 10 per cent, and a 25 percent decrease in Nitrous Oxide emissions.
This information was shared with us via email by Safe Speed <SaferSpeed@calgary.ca>, Thanks to City of Calgary to provide this detailed information for educational purposes. We are taking the liberty to re-post this information to spread the awareness.
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