Changes to the speed limit requested by Ottawa councilors in their departments do not slow down motorists.
New statistics from the city of Ottawa show that the average speed has increased four out of 12 places where reduced speed limits have been introduced over the past six years. And while motorists have slowed down in seven places with lower speed limits, the average speed is still above the original speed limit.
grev. Catherine Kitts asked city staff if drivers slowed down after speed limits were introduced at the direction of the ward councilor.
Kitts noted that residents in her ward “continuously” request speed limits to reduce operating speeds in their neighborhoods.
In a report to Monday’s Transport Committee meeting, staff reviewed data from the 34 locations where speed limit changes were implemented as a result of councilor-led movements since 2015.
“Where published speed limit data is available, the operating speeds of the 85th percentile have not been significantly reduced due to the new posted speed limits,” said staff, with data only available from 12 of the 34 locations.
“In most cases, the operating speeds continue to be much closer to the originally specified speed limit, which was set according to the speed zoning policy.”
City staff analyze speeds on the roads based on the speed at which 85 percent of vehicles drive.
Data from 12 of the 34 roads where the speed limit was lowered show that the average speed has increased in several places after the change.
In 2017, the speed limit on River Road, from Lowen Drive to the south of Tewsley Drive, was lowered from 70 km / h to 60 km / h. Staff say operating speeds are now averaging 86 km / h compared to 80 km / h before the change.
On Bearbrook Road in Blackburn Hamlet, the speed increased 4 km / h to 65 km / h since the speed limit was lowered to 40 km / h in 2016 from 60 km / h.
On some roads, the lower speed limit reduced the average speed – however, motorists still drive well over the limit.
On Hunt Club Road, between Cahill Drive and Conroy Road, the average speed has dropped to 82 km / h from 89 km / h since the speed limit was reduced from 80 km / h to 60 km / h.
On Dunning Road, where the speed limit dropped from 80 km / h to 60 km / h in 2017, the average speed dropped from 91 km / h to 85 km / h.
Staff reported no change in speed on Orleans Boulevard, from Navan Road to Silverbirch Street, after the speed limit was reduced from 60 km / h to 50 km / h. The average speed is 64 km / h.
Data on speeds at 22 locations across Ottawa after the speed limit change were not available.
The transport committee will vote on Monday on a proposal from the county council. Riley Brockington lowers the speed limit from 50 km / h to 40 km / h on Kirkwood Avenue, between Merivale Road and Carling Avenue.
Staff note that lowering the speed limit without physical changes to the road surface will “have a minimal impact” on the driver’s behavior.
“In such cases, where a specified speed limit is below operating speeds, most motorists will continue to drive at speeds they feel are reasonable and careful, unless constant police enforcement is present,” staff said in response to Brockington’s proposal.