40 km/h speed limit for residential, downtown Edmonton roads comes into effect Aug. 6

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Edmonton Police Service Insp. Keith Johnson speaks Friday at the unveiling of Edmonton's new 40 km/h default speed limit. (Art Raham/CBC - image credit)
Edmonton Police Service Insp. Keith Johnson speaks Friday at the unveiling of Edmonton's new 40 km/h default speed limit. (Art Raham/CBC - image credit)

The speed limit on most residential and downtown streets in Edmonton will drop to 40 km/h on Aug. 6, the city announced Friday.

A public education campaign is now underway to help Edmontonians become aware of the change, the city said in a news release.

The city said 40 km/h will be the city-wide default speed limit, meaning that if drivers don't see a sign, the speed limit will be 40 km/h.

The current default speed limit is 50 km/h.

City council voted in favour of dropping the speed limit last year as a way to make streets safer for all users.

Most major roads will not be affected by the change, and the city says it will have little impact on driving times.

The move is critical to achieving Edmonton's goal of Vision Zero, said Jessica Lamarre, the city's director of safe mobility, in the release. Vision Zero's goal is to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities on city streets by 2032.

People seeking more information about the speed limit reduction project can visit the City of Edmonton website.

The roads that will have the new 40 km/h speed limit are shown on an interactive map.

Motorists wondering how their trips will be affected can use the city's estimated time of arrival tool, which shows the impact of the new speed limit on driving times.

Automated enforcement begins Sept. 1

A grace period will be in effect until Sept. 1 for automated enforcement locations with new speed limits to help drivers adjust their behaviour.

Enforcement in those locations will begin on Sept. 1, coinciding with the return to school, the city said.

The Edmonton Police Service backs the speed limit reduction, said Insp. Keith Johnson, head of the force's traffic services branch, in Friday's news release.

Speeding and careless driving are often the top neighbourhood complaints, he cited.

But summertime and the easing of pandemic restrictions will also likely result in more foot traffic in the downtown area, so the 40 km/h speed limit should make streets safer for everyone, he said.

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