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Duncan moves forward with plan to reduce speed limits

Most streets will be 30 km/h zones
Brian Murphy, the City of Duncan’s said lowering speed limits on city streets will make them safer for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable people. (Citizen file photio)

The City of Duncan will move forward with plans to reduce speed limits on its streets to 30 km/hr from the current 50 unless otherwise posted, except for a number of connector streets.

Council gave final approval to the speed-reduction project at its meeting on Nov. 20, with only Coun. Mike McKinlay opposed.

Brian Murphy, Duncan’s director of public works and engineering, had told council that the project targets several road safety issues including speeding, distracted driving, pedestrian safety, children at play, road safety for disadvantaged groups, and unsafe driving.


Murphy said travel speeds are a critical factor in determining the severity of a crash and whether it occurs at all.

“We’ve seen a number of other municipalities take this step and I expect we’ll see more as we move forward,” he told council on Monday.

“It’s a big step and a big change and staff certainly understand any hesitations. But for vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, lower speed limits are safer overall and that is the intent of the project.”

Murphy said the project has the support of B.C.’s Vision Zero Program, from which it’s receiving an $18,000 grant, and is also receiving $24,000 from ICBC’s road improvement program, which speaks to the importance of these types of safety projects in the province.


“The next step is ordering [speed-limit] signs and planting them,” he said.

“Then we’ll announce a roll-out date and the new speed limits will be in effect.”

The new speed limit will apply to all streets in Duncan, except in places where speed limits will be 40 km/h.

They include between Boundary Road and Duncan Street on Government Street, Canada Avenue north of James Street, Coronation Avenue between Ypres Street and Trunk Road, and Trunk Road from Duncan Street to Lakes Road.

The speed limit on the section of the Trans-Canada Highway that runs through Duncan will remain 50 km/hr as it is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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