Regina councillor pitches pushing back school, playground zone start times – Regina
Currently, the 30 km/h zones take effect at 7:00 a.m. and end at 7:00 p.m., seven days a week, 365 days a year. Ward 9 Councillor Mancinelli would like to see those hours changed to 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
“7:00 in the morning, or 7:30 in the morning, traffic does back up. It creates unnecessary stress on the roads for people on their way to work,” said Mancinelli on Sunday.
“I don’t like getting to work wound up like a clock and I don’t think anyone else has to. I think this might take a little bit of that tension out, keep things moving a little smoother on the way and start your day off with a brighter smile.”
Mancinelli has penned a motion proposing changes, which will be brought forward to city council for discussion this Wednesday.
The zone hours and speed limits were put into place by council back in 2019.
The debates then were dominated by speed limit consideration, rather than timing, he said.
“We really got caught up in the meeting arguing the speed limits and whether it was effective or not,” he said, adding he thinks the current timeframe was given an easy go-ahead by council because it is common in other parts of Canada.
“Day-to-day, it’s a big deal. A lot of people start work at 8:00 a.m. A 7:00 a.m. start time means you’re going through a school zone you don’t ever see a kid in. And on the tail end 7:00 p.m. means there’s lots of kids still out playing in playgrounds and school zones.”
Of course, such a change-up wouldn’t come without a cost.
Sign changes for the 2019 changeup were estimated at around $180,000, according to city documents, though that also included changing speed limit signs.
Global News has reached out to the Regina Police Service for information on the number of pedestrian-involved collisions in school zones before 8 a.m. since the hours were changed. We will update this story when a response is received.
Meanwhile, when asked about any potential safety concerns, Mancinelli said most of the discussion is focused on school with daycares.
“That’s generally not pedestrian traffic, that’s vehicular traffic. Those people have to get to work too.”
Mancinelli added he’d also like the city to consider changing time markings on the signs from the 24-hour to a 12-hour format, as well as explore the idea of “vertical infrastructure markings” such as coloured light poles.
In November, Saskatoon city council voted 6-5 to expand their 30 km/h school zones from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. and to have those hours in effect year-round.
The change in Saskatoon is scheduled to be implemented this year.
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