Penticton’s city council is taking it slow when it comes to lowering speed limits on downtown streets.
The Downtown Select Revitalization Committee suggested the city reduce the speed limit through a large area of downtown to 30 kilometres per hour.
That’s already the speed limit along Lakeshore Drive and Front Street, along with downtown portions of Martin and Main Streets, but the committee would like to see the zone extended to cover Winnipeg to Ellis Streets and from Lakeshore Drive to Wade Avenue. On Martin Street, the 30 km/h limit would be extended to Eckhardt Avenue.
“A lot of these cross streets on the map are so short it doesn’t matter what speed limit you put on them, no one can really get to 50,” said Coun. Andrew Jakubeit.
Council voted to refer the plan to the transportation committee and city staff, and expect to have a staff report back before council in mid-September.
Councillor Wes Hopkin also wanted to see some public input on the proposed changes.
“This is a pretty significant reworking of speed limits,” said Hopkin. “I think it is important that we do some proper consultation and that we take the advantage of the downtown markets going on in the summertime to make sure we get that consultation then.”
Coun. Katie Robinson agreed more discussion was needed over what would likely be a controversial issue.
“I am glad it is coming back to the transportation committee because we have already had one go round with it and there was a strong disagreement with changing some of them, so it will be good to spend a little bit more time with it,” said Robinson.
Mitch Moroziuk, the city’s director of operations, said the changes weren’t inspired by speeding complaints, but rather the committee’s ongoing development of the downtown revitalization plan, and the beginning of work on some parts of the plan.