Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
Responsive image

Minister Naqvi consulting on reduced residential speed limits

You are here

Since nearly the instant I won last fall’s election, pedestrian and cyclist safety has been a constant refrain in the emails and phone calls we’ve gotten. Everyone has a story about an unsafe intersection, a fast street, a dangerous sidewalk.

We’re very close to hiring a coordinator on contract to begin helping us inventory all the problems, but one of the underlying issues I heard over and over at the door was the unsafe speeds at which cars travel in residential neighbourhoods.

I was very pleased on January 29 to hear that our MPP, Yasir Naqvi, has initiated a consultation on reducing default speed limits in municipalities. The province will consider a variety of options to help cities reduce their default limits without the need for re-signing every sign. The ultimate outcome may be a decision in favour of the status quo, or it could be a blanket reduction in the speed limit across Ontario, or (as I’m hoping), the Province may give individual municipalities the tools they need to implement their own preferred approaches.

This spring, Minister Naqvi will be hosting consultations in our ward in his capacity as our MPP, and the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) will be consulting with municipalities. I’ll be adding my voice to those supporting speed reductions. It’s true that mechanisms exist to reduce speed limits on a street-by-street basis on the basis of petitions. But, these require extraordinary volunteer dedication and the approach is ad hoc. Based on what I heard at the door during the campaign, the appetite to reduce speeds on residential streets in Kitchissippi is nearly universal.

Of course, reduced speed limits alone won’t solve our problems. We need traffic calming, better designed streets, enforcement and work to create a culture of respect among drivers. But Minister Naqvi’s initiative is a welcome piece of the overall puzzle. I’m looking forward to supporting him.

Posted February 3, 2015
Minister Yasir Naqvi will be consulting with our ward's residents this spring about reducing default speed limits. I'm looking forward to the discussion as one element of ensuring safer streets.