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November 27, 2022 November 27, 2022

County passes first reading of new speed limit bylaw

Posted on October 31, 2022 by admin

By Erika Mathieu
Westwind Weekly News

Lethbridge County council is considering a new Speed Limit Bylaw which may change speed limits in the county within hamlets and on gravel roads.
“This has been developed to address the designated speeds throughout Lethbridge County,” said Jeremy Wickson, director of Public Operations for the County.
A traffic control bylaw was adopted in 1995 and was succeeded by several amending bylaws and council resolutions in the following years.
“Speed limits need to be clear and have clear parameters and a bylaw in place to be enforceable,”
“When we are posting speed limits on roadways, in order for a community peace officer or RCMP or sheriff, the county should have a corresponding bylaw that basically supports that those speed limits are designated at that.”
Wickson also said past county practice has been inconsistent with respect to speed limits due to the number of amendments and council resolutions since 1995. In some areas, including some hamlets and rural subdivisions, “there are a mixture of speed limits all over the place,” said Wickson, pointing to Diamond City as an example, which has both 50km/h and 30km/h signs posted concurrently.
A speed limit bylaw was previously brought forward through a council resolution to set a speed limit of 60km/h, rather than 80km/h throughout the county on gravel roads. This was later defeated following a packed public hearing which heard from many residents in opposition to the change.
Wickson added a reduction to 60km/h may “reduce some of the impacts on the roadways if had a reduced speed limit across the board.”
Deputy Reeve Kuerbis expressed support for a universal 30km/h speed limit in hamlets noting, “(an) extra 20km/h when you are dealing in close quarters where there is the potential of somebody running out or just walking out in between a car, makes a world of difference (in the) preservation of a human life.”
According to Coun. Van Essen, public input regarding a speed limit bylaw which was previously defeated prompted, “fairly severe and fairly blunt,” pushback from residents.
Council voted to pass first reading of Bylaw 22-018, but CAO Ann Mitchell said the County will be taking on, “a robust communication,” campaign prior to consideration of second and third readings. A short survey will run until Nov. 30, and can be found at https://whatshappening.lethcounty.ca/proposed-speed-limit-bylaw.

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