The City’s procedure to review speed limits intends to maintain the speed limits on city streets that promote public safety and have a reasonable expectation of driver adherence. The speed of vehicles is an emotive issue for communities that often generate intense local concern and debate, partly because the perception of what is an appropriate safe speed often differs significantly between, for example, drivers, pedestrians and pedal cyclists, many of whom live and work in the community.
Speed limits must be evidence-led and self-explaining and should reinforce road users’ assessments of the appropriate speed for a given environment. Speed limits are established in a consistent manner that reflects the expectation of all road users.
Before you start this process
STEP 1: Initiating a request
If you are concerned about the traffic safety on your road or any city road, we encourage you to submit a request for traffic limit reduction or increase. Your request with justification must be submitted in writing by April 1. Your ward councillor, your school board or a business association can initiate the request.
At least 85% of the residents residing in that section of the street where the request is applicable must sign the requesting petition. If there is not 85% support for the request, the director of public works and environment services shall send a written reply to the petitioner advising that the request will not be considered.
Please note that speed limit reductions or increases are only received once a year by April 1 for city staff and OPP to complete a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the review and provide their input on or before Oct. 30 of each year.
STEP 2: Request review
The review process is when city staff complete a two-part screening investigation to determine if the submitted request is warranted. This process includes a review from the director of public works and environment services and the public works committee.
STEP 3: Committee decision to proceed to a traffic study
Once the public works committee has approved the application, the request will be presented to the city’s engineering team and the OPP for review and comment.
Engineering and public works staff will review and analyze the request taking into consideration road geometry (horizontal and vertical alignment, curve alignments, etc.), accident history, TAC guidelines, school zones, sidewalks, road characteristics, etc. and will provide a written report to the director of public works and environment services before the end of September.
OPP will review the request, and monitor the speed during the spring, summer and early fall season and provide a report with the data to the director of public works and environment services before September.
STEP 4: Traffic study
The traffic study will consider a variety of traffic methods to address identified traffic issues. City staff will erect signs at opposite ends of the street or area in question, stating that the road is under consideration for a speed limit reduction or increase. Residents will have the opportunity to provide comments in writing before Sept. 1.
STEP 5: Decision
Information that has been collected through steps one to four will be reviewed, and a decision will be made in October by the director of public works and environment services