July 20th, 2024

Parkview Drive stretch could soon be 70 km/h

By Collin Gallant on August 10, 2017.

Committee members discussed speed limits for Parkview Drive during Wednesday's Development and Infrastructure meeting. Earlier this year the city surveyed residents about speed limits in the city, and a majority of respondents were in favour of increasing the limit of the road in sections currently posted at 50 km/h.--NEWS PHOTO EMMA BENNETT

Medicine Hat News

Motorists could soon be living the dream of travelling at 70 kilometres per hour along most of Parkview Drive, should city council accept a committee and staff recommendation to up the speed limit on the isolated stretch.

The contentious topic has dogged council since the road was built out to separated four-lane road in 2013, but remained at the same standard posted rate as a residential road.

On Wednesday, the development and infrastructure committee agreed to forward the increase — the result of staff evaluation this spring — to council.

“Thank god,” said Coun. Julie Friesen, noting that its been a lingering complaint.

“I know this has been a while coming, but there are considerations that are taken into account (when altering speed limits).

“There’s been a lot of pressure from motorists who are looking at a beautiful stretch of road and complaining that they’ve got a ticket.”

The issue in particular flared up last fall with councillors publicly calling for a quick change on Parkview Drive in the city’s northeast ahead of a full review of routes throughout the city.

The road was with engineers confirming that it was designed to handle traffic up to 80 km/h.

This spring the municipal works department asked for public feedback in a survey about speed limits. Out of about 2,400 responses, about 2,100 favoured an increase from 50 km/h.

Sound studies show that only a minor increase of noise levels would accompany the higher speed. Those results were mailed to individual residences on Terrace Drive, the residents of which had sued the city prior to construction.

Eventually it was settled when some design features were altered, though the settlement is sealed with a non-disclosure clause.

Now, the road would become a 70-km/h zone from 11th Avenue to 20th Street NE (the wide turn that separates Terrace and Ranchlands communities).

“That (Parkview Drive) is easy or a one-off, there’s some truth to that,” said Coun. Robert Dumanowski, adding that many considerations are weighted when setting speed limits.

“(But) you can’t just go changing a limit and assuming that things were designed a certain way.”

The same spring survey included a call for comments about other areas of concern among the driving public. Those responses will now be tabulated and used to schedule a systematic review of other roads where staffers will evaluate and consider changing speed limits.

Friesen said that during last year’s review of photo radar deployment, public consultations sessions featured much discussion of the speed limit issue.

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