Very few people are injured or killed by automobiles in Sunnyside, so is this really necessary?
While Sunnyside is a relatively safe neighbourhood for pedestrians and cyclists, it is important to remember that automobile related collisions are a leading cause of death in Canada and one of the top causes of death for young people around the world. We should not have to wait for someone to die, for us to take action. By switching to 30 km/h limits, we can improve the safety of all Sunnyside residents and prevent traffic injuries/deaths from happening in the first place.
Won't a 30 km/h speed limit increase trip times?
Yes. However, since the 30 km/h limit will only apply to residential streets, travel time will only be impacted on those roads. Furthermore, since distances within Sunnyside are very short, the actual time impact will be negligible. Since the maximum distance one can really travel on a route through Sunnyside is 1.5 kilometres, a 30 km/h speed limit will increase trip times by one minute and twelve seconds over 50 km/h. This small addition in time is made smaller considering that many of the roads in Sunnyside are already too narrow to achieve 50 km/h. This calculation also does not take into account existing 30 km/h zones, crossings or any traffic controls. Ultimately, the impact on cross Sunnyside trip times with the change from 50 km/h to 30 km/h comes down to mere seconds. If that is still too much, consider leaving earlier. In the end, the safety of vulnerable road users must take precedence over speed.
Won't people still speed anyway?
When automobiles are on roadways, speeding seems to be inevitable. However, certain steps can be taken to reduce the incidences of speeding. The very fact that the new limit is in place will cause most motorists to obey the law. With signage and enforcement, even higher rates of compliance will be observed.
People in Sunnyside will respect the change, but what about visitors?
While local residents will be well aware of the shift to 30 km/h, others might not expect or be aware of the lower limit. Though with proper signage, education campaigns and coverage in the media, visitors to Sunnyside should quickly come to expect the change to 30 km/h
Won't it be really expensive to make the change to 30 km/h?
The cost of the shift to 30 km/h limits is entirely dependent on what infrastructure and programmes come along with it. Ideally, only ten or so new speed limit signs will need to be installed at the various entrances to the Sunnyside neighbourhood. Education programmes will increase costs somewhat, but this could be offset by volunteer labour provided by residents and the local community association. Combined, all of the costs associated with the shift are insignificant compared to the safety benefits of moving to 30 km/h limits.
Is changing the speed limit enough?
No. While the move to 30 km/h will greatly benefit Sunnyside and its residents, more can be done to improve the safety and liveability of the community. The installation of traffic calming measures will help increase compliance with the new limit, as well as improve safety on its own. Further human-scale development and design can also help improve the safety and vibrancy of Sunnyside.