Residential speeds. How your councillors voted

It seems like another decade, but it has only been a couple of months since Edmonton City Council debated and approved the new 40 km/h speed limit for all residential areas.

Covid-19 took hold of our lives the very week councillors made that historic decision. The traffic on our streets has all but evaporated. People can now roam their neighbourhoods (socially-distanced) at their leisure having to worry only about the occasional vehicle. The pandemic has brought families out to enjoy their streets in a way they never felt safe doing before.

Still, I think it’s important to document where individual councillors stood on the residential speed issue in March 2020.

The final decision to set the residential speed across the city at 40 km/h was actually the result of seven different votes. This list summarizes the five main issues.

30 km/h in the Core Zone

In favour: Iveson, Henderson, Knack, McKeen, Paquette

Opposed: Banga, Cartmell, Caterina, Dziadyk, Esslinger, Hamilton, Nickel, Walters

Lost: 8-5

40 km/h in the Core Zone

In Favour: Iveson, Esslinger, Hamilton, Henderson, Knack, McKeen, Paquette, Walters

Opposed: Banga, Cartmell, Caterina, Dziadyk, Nickel

Carried 8-5

30 k/hr in neighbourhoods outside the Core Zone

In favour: Iveson, Henderson, Knack, McKeen, Paquette

Opposed: Banga, Cartmell, Caterina, Dziadyk, Esslinger, Hamilton, Nickel, Walters

Lost 8-5

40k/hr in neighbourhoods outside the Core Zone

In Favour: Iveson, Esslinger, Hamilton, Henderson, Knack, McKeen, Paquette, Walters

Opposed: Banga, Cartmell, Caterina, Dziadyk, Nickel

Carried 8-5

40k/hr along Main Streets (portions of Whyte Ave., Jasper Ave. and other high pedestrian areas)

In favour: Iveson, Caterina,Esslinger, Henderson, Knack, McKeen, Paquette, Walters

Opposed: Banga, Cartmell, Dziadyk, Hamilton, Nickel

Carried 8-5

The result of these series of votes means the Council has voted to move forward with a 40 km/h speed limit for all residential areas of the city. The lower speed will also include some areas of Whyte Ave., Jasper Ave. and a few other areas which have high pedestrian traffic.

Clearly this issue i not sthe primary focus right now of a City Hall grappling with a pandemic. There will be time to discuss this again when the administration brings forward the needed bylaws in 2021. Perhaps what is happening now will make people realize the importance of having their neighbourhood streets as a safe haven for their families. We hope so.