Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reduced speed limit on cycling routes not a deterrent for speeders

The City of Burnaby has recently proposed reducing the speed limit for cars to 30 km/h on its cycling routes (Vancouver Sun article) to increase cyclist safety along those routes. While it is a good idea to legally reduce the speed limit along cycling routes, it would only be a small first step in creating safer roads for cyclists. It is one thing to officially have a lower limit, and another thing to enforce the speed limit in those areas.

A street like Delta Ave which has Brentwood Park Elementary and Holy Cross schools on either side still sees vehicles travelling in excess of 70 km/h during the day while the speed limit has been 30 km/h as per school zone standards for years. I have yet to see a car pulled over for speeding along Delta Ave near the schools during the day or night.

In order to make the idea work, the next steps after creating reduced speed zones should be to (1) add traffic calming measures to the affected areas (narrower road and wider sidewalk), and (2) speed enforcement by the police. Until the idea is fully implemented by including the 2 steps mentioned, it will not make cycling routes safer.


  1. i don't see how a narrower road will make it safer for cyclists... you're putting them at risk in my opinion... give them their own dedicated lane, and eliminate parking on one side of the roadway for them like Vancouver has done.

  2. Ideally, a separated lane would work best for cyclists. In the case of side streets, narrowing the road deters rat racers from speeding through as they would feel crowded out by parked cars and bulges. The less rat racers the better, I say.