Comment 81978

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted October 19, 2012 at 11:45:17 in reply to Comment 81977

I absolutely agree. But the problem is that traditionally the roads are also designed to be safe for drivers at speeds significantly greater than the posted speed, which leads to a lot of speeding (look at the curve radii and lane widths on many 50km/h roads in Hamilton).

The solution is to design roads so that drivers naturally drive at lower speeds.

This is being done extensively in Europe, and is beginning in Canada.

Examples include narrowing lanes (which have the added benefit of allowing wider sidewalks, cycle lanes or more parking), tight turning radii, two-way conversion, adding obstacles (bump outs, speed humps), chicanes, and locally narrowing to one-lane on two-way roads forcing drivers in one direction to yield to oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, Ontario has been quite timid so far in implementing many of these techniques and even 30km/h zones remain controversial.

A reduction in speed limits to 30km/h needs to be accompanied with these sorts of changes to bring the 85th percentile naturally down to 30km/h. Enforcement alone doesn't work.

But the speed limit does need to come down even once the road is calmed since, as the editorial notes, drivers do tend to interpret speed limits as minimum speeds, and assume the true limit is about 10km/h faster.

Comment edited by kevlahan on 2012-10-19 12:47:32

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