Round-the-clock 30 km/h school zones approved by Vancouver city council

The City of Vancouver is moving ahead with plans to make residential streets safer by implementing 30 km/h zones around schools and playgrounds for all hours of the day. 

It will also create a “slow-zone” in the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood in East Vancouver.

Traffic calming measures have already been introduced in area which is bound by Clark Drive, 1st Avenue, Commercial Drive and Grandview Highway North. Now the city will test an official speed-limit reduction by posting signs to let drivers know that the speed limit is 30 km/h.

All Vancouver streets have speed limits of 50 km/h under the Motor Vehicle Act unless otherwise posted however, the city has been considering a blanket reduction in speed limits on local streets.

New slow-zone in the East Vancouver neighbourhood of Grandview-Woodland where the speed limit will be 30 km/h. (City of Vancouver)

In the past, school zones speed reductions have been limited to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on school days.

Longtime Grandview-Woodland community activist Jak King said promoting slower traffic on streets in the neighbourhood allows people to feel safer using other modes of transportation.

“We see a lot of cycling in the neighborhood and we’ve put in quite a few bike lanes and bike diversions to do that already. I think we’ll see more of that. It seems to be a fairly fit neighborhood so why not?”

He said the changes are welcome since there have been concerns in the neighbourhood due to plans to remove the viaducts which connect eastern neighbourhoods to the downtown core. They expect that could lead to more vehicle traffic on residential streets in the future.

City council also approved the development of a pilot program with the B.C. government to reduce speed limits on local streets so that privately owned mobility devices could be used including e-scooters and electric monowheels which are one-wheeled machines similar to unicycle. The devices are illegal on Vancouver streets, but could be used on protected bike lanes and local streets during the test project.