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Lower Speed Limits Proposed For 14 Streets

By Brad Perry Sep 23, 2022 | 11:48 AM

djhsilver / CC

Lower speed limits could be coming to more than a dozen residential streets throughout Saint John.

City staff recommend the speed limit on 14 streets in the city be reduced to 40 kilometres per hour.

That includes Douglas Avenue, MacLaren Boulevard, King Street East, and part of Ragged Point Road. The full list can be found at the bottom of this story.

Tim O’Reilly, the city’s director of transportation, outlined the recommendation to public safety committee members on Wednesday.

Last August and September, committee members and council endorsed a recommendation that speed limits be reviewed on at least 20 streets and be lowered to 40 kilometres per hour on “several” of them.

O’Reilly said staff have since assessed 21 streets and determined 14 of them should have a lower speed limit.

Seven other streets that were also assessed will not see any changes, he said, including Bon Accord Drive, Mount Pleasant Avenue, and Parkhill Drive.

“Setting arbitrarily low speed limits comes with public safety risk and could put unnecessary further pressure on our police force as there could be compliance issues even by more reasonable drivers,” O’Reilly told the committee.

O’Reilly said it has been well documented that the physical characteristics of a street are the best way to reduce speeds.

The more driveways, curbs, knolls, and narrow lanes a road has, the more slowly motorists tend to drive, he said.

“These physical characteristics are therefore used in industry best practices to calculate the most appropriate speed limit for a street,” said O’Reilly.

O’Reilly also noted that residential streets assessed for a change in speed limit would not be discounted from exploring traffic calming measures

Coun. Barry Ogden questioned whether the list of streets with 40-kilometre-per-hour speed limits would be expanded in the years ahead.

The short answer, O’Reilly said, is yes.

“We’ll likely do more next year. We’ll do more every year. Our ability to do as many as we can will depend on priorities, resources applied, but we will continue to do more as resources allow,” he said.

Mayor Donna Reardon said asked whether speed limits across the south-central peninsula would eventually be reduced to 40 kilometres per hour.

“The short answer to your question is it’s very likely most streets in the peninsula, if not all, would have a 40 kilometre per hour speed limit recommended,” he said.

Public safety committee members recommended that Common Council approve the new speed limits.

Streets with proposed 40 km/h speed limit:

  • Anglin Drive
  • Barbara Crescent
  • Bayard Drive
  • Brookview Crescent
  • Carmarthen Street
  • Craig Crescent
  • Douglas Avenue
  • Edith Avenue
  • Hawthorne Avenue
  • King Street East
  • MacLaren Boulevard
  • Ragged Point Road (from 370 metres north of Woodward Avenue to the northern limit of Ragged Point Road)
  • Wellesley Avenue
  • Westgate Drive

Streets assessed but not recommended for speed reduction:

  • Anderson Avenue
  • Bon Accord Drive
  • Cedarwood Drive
  • Danells Drive
  • Mount Pleasant Avenue
  • Ocean Drive
  • Parkhill Drive


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