Kitimat City Council saw a presentation from Cameron Kelso on the topic of Residential Speed Limits on Tuesday, September 8th. Kelso also sent a letter to Council describing how drivers are going too fast on residential streets when children are playing. He advised them to reduce the speed limit on residential streets with to 40 Kilometres per hour or less.
“My Original intent of this meeting tonight, as I wrote in my brief, was to reduce speed limits to 30 kilometres per hour,” said Kelso. “I have to plead ignorance because residential speed limits in our town are already 30 kilometers per hour.”
He explained he was happy this had already been done. He had been directed to the municipal code where the speed limits are posted. However, the signage, which is supposed to be at the entrance of town, which Kelso learned from the RCMP was knocked over by a snow plow several winters ago, has not been replaced.The document, which is found on the District of Kitimat Website by clicking this paragraph, states that: “No person shall drive any vehicle in excess of the following rates of speed: 60 Kilometres per hour upon or along any boulevard, 50 kilometers per hour upon or along any avenue, 30 kilometres per hour upon or along any street, crescent, loop, or cul-de-sac and 15 kilometers per hour upon or along any parking lot.”
Kelso stated there is such a sign at the entrance of Cable Car. However, immediately following it is a 50 Kilometres per hour sign. There are similar 50 signs throughout the neighbourhood.
“It leaves me very confused as to where that would apply, that 30 Kilometres per hour,” said Kelso.
He stated that new drivers are taught the speed limit is 50, unless it is otherwise posted. The ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says the speed limit is 50 Kilometers per hour in municipalities.
He commented how on the first day back to school, he watched the kids from Carswell and Clifford filter onto his street because there is no sidewalk there. He sees a lot of near misses in front of his house and has heard similar stories from around the community.
Kelso told Council they need to educate drivers and the amount of signage needs to increase.
“The last thing I want is for a little kid to get tagged in front of my house and see the look on that drivers face and have to make phone calls to the parents and hope that nobody is hurt seriously in it,” said Kelso.
He expressed there is a record of accidents but there is no record of near misses. He wanted to be proactive rather than reactive.
Councillor Mario Feldhoff expressed he used to live on Carswell Street and it was worse for kids getting dropped off and picked up there when Roy Wilcox was open. He said the staff would look at this and even he was not aware of the speed limit differences between streets and avenues.
Councillor Rob Goffinet had some questions about the speed limit on other streets in town. He said he has family members who were concerned about the speed limit on Albatross and Gerfalcon as well as the number of children who play on the street on Gerfalcon. He added Cormorant is 30 Kilometers and it is not enforced and Albatross is a very busy thoroughfare.
Councillor Edwin Empinado agreed there has been no record of near misses. He suggested replacing the sign and asked people record the plate numbers of people who are not obeying the bylaw. Kelso stated this had to be done with more than just signs. There had to be an education process here as well.
Mayor Phil Germuth questioned the legality of questioning someone’s speed without a way of determining what speed vehicles are traveling at. He thanked Kelso for his presentation.
Later in the meeting, Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion to forward Kelso’s letter to Council to the Engineering department and the Traffic Committee for comment. The motion was called and carried.