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Letter: Slowing down benefits everyone

Editor: In June 2019, Community Cruisers launched a campaign to advocate for 30-km/h speed limits where people live, work, shop and play in Canmore and Banff.
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Editor:

In June 2019, Community Cruisers launched a campaign to advocate for 30-km/h speed limits where people live, work, shop and play in Canmore and Banff.

When discussing this initiative, it has often been said that it wasn’t needed since “no one ever gets hit by cars here.” 

Unfortunately, this is not the case, as demonstrated by two recent incidents (Nov. 21 and Dec. 4) of people on foot being seriously injured due to being hit by cars. We believe for every reported injury, there are many near misses.

People have commented, “30 km/h feels too slow.” However this tangible reduction in speed is worth it to achieve the numerous benefits, including:

• It is safer and more enjoyable for all road users when car traffic moves slower. The number of collisions and the severity of injuries in collisions are both reduced. 

• The level of harm to vulnerable road users rises dramatically at speeds of higher than 30 km/h, making this the sensible default limit for places where vehicles and people mix. You can visit love30.ca for detailed statistics on the safety benefits of 30 km/h speed limits.

• Data from other towns and cities shows more people will switch from driving to walking and wheeling, which reduces traffic congestion.

• You’ll still arrive on time. Reducing speed from 50 km/h to 30 km/h is proven to have minimal impact on travel times.

• It’s good for the environment. Vehicles travelling at 30 km/h emit less pollutants, including greenhouse gases, than those travelling at 50 km/h.

• Fewer cars on our streets means improved local air quality. We now know that inhaling even the smallest amounts of exhaust emissions is toxic to the body, especially the brain.

• Research has shown that a 10 km/h reduction in speed can produce a noise reduction of up to 40 per cent.

Once we get used to driving at 30 km/h, sharing the roads with people on foot and on bikes, driving at 50 km/h will start to feel too fast.

Visit communitycruisers.ca/love30kph to add your name to the growing list of people and businesses slowing down to make our towns better places to live, work, shop and play.

Jen Tweddell,

Community Cruisers Board President



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