The default speed limit on Rossland streets isn’t going to change — but some residents think they should be a lot lower on some thoroughfares.
Council re-affirmed the municipal speed limit policy at its last council meeting.
Essentially, the default speed limit is 30 km/h on most city streets, except school zones, drop-off areas, where children walk to school, and on narrower, hilly streets, where it’s 20 km/h or less.
The policy is reviewed every year so that speed limits “provide a feeling of safety for residents, with particular attention to cyclists and pedestrians.”
But at least two parents told council the policy was failing in that regard.
“Thompson Avenue especially, it is bloody insane how fast people drive on that street,” says Miche Warwick. “I got passed the other day I was driving 34 k.. So I was going above the speed limit myself. I had kids in the car, there was a car coming the opposite way….
“This is not a debate about people going 40 or 50 in a 30 zone, it’s about people going 60 or 70 or faster.”
Warwick and a second parent, Jess Foster, both said the situation on the roads makes them fear for their safety.
Foster lives on Plewman Way, and while she says the city has tried traffic calming measures on that street, people looking for a short-cut to the ski hill still speed through.
“We’ve been smoked out by a diesel,” says Foster, recalling one recent incident.
“He was speeding down the road. We motioned him to slow down a bit — I was crossing the street with my infant and two dogs, and my husband also motioned for him to slow down.
“Instead, he slowed down so that he was almost stoppped, then stepped on the accelerator. It was disgusting, we just got exhaust in our face.”
Warwick said it was important for council to start tackling the design issues that are creating speeders.
“We have a pretty serious safety hazard on many of our streets in our community, and rather than having an arbitrary conversation about what the number should be on the signs, I believe we should be focusing on the conversation of how to make our streets safer,” she said. “There are other things we can discuss, gather as a community to try to reduce the speed of traffic in the community.”
Mayor and council were sympathetic, and while several councillors suggested road calming measures might be in order, the mayor said that could be reviewed after the policy was passed.
“Let’s put it on staff’s list to look at traffic calming things in these hotbeds of problems,” said Mayor Kathy Moore.
Councillors also said they were frustrated by the lack of police enforcement of speeding bylaws.
The biggest challenge we’ve had is getting the RCMP to come up and monitor speed limits, and we’ve asked multiple times,” said Andy Morel. “How often do we see RCMP vehicles in this community?”
Morel and others suggested citizens record licence plate numbers and phone police with complaints.