A new poll commissioned by a Winnipeg city councillor has found the majority of city drivers are opposed to a reduced speed limit on residential streets.
Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) released the Probe Research survey results Thursday, which show 56% of Winnipeggers are against lowering the current default speed limit from 50 km/h to 30 km/h.
“While people want and deserve to feel safe on their streets whether as a pedestrian, cyclist or in a vehicle, I believe people are looking for enforcement of current speed limits, not artificial limits that are not based on traffic engineering principles,” Browaty said in a statement.
The poll found 44% of those surveyed were in favour of lowering the speed limit — something safety advocates say will reduce collisions, including those involving pedestrians and children.
Probe Research also found those in favour of a reduced speed limit are core area residents, those with children at home, NDP supporters and those who voted “yes” to reopening
the intersection of Portage and Main in the October 2018 civic election plebiscite.
The survey also found 36% of people were “strongly opposed” to the idea, while 66% said they would vote “no” in a hypothetical referendum to reduce the residential speed limit to 30 km/h.
“Speed limits are based on ideal road conditions,” Browaty continued. “When there are factors such as when roads are wet, icy, when there’s parked cars to go around, or when there’s pedestrians or bikes on or near the street you are legally required to slow down.”
Browaty hopes the new findings will convince his council colleagues to change their minds on moving forward with a one-year pilot project to test a 30 km/h speed limit on five city streets. Currently, the 30 km/h speed limit applies to city back lanes, as well as in school zones from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays from September to June.
Probe Research conducted the survey between March 10-21, 2021 using a representative sampling of 600 adults residing in Winnipeg.