For several years, school zones within Brandon have had speed restrictions in place during the school year that limit passing vehicles to travel at a maximum 30 km/hr. Though it’s been a point of much discussion in the community, it’s hard to argue with the data that shows that pedestrian chances of survival at impacts of 30 km/hr are night-and-day compared to when vehicle speeds of 50 km/hr and higher.
Now after a recent Brandon City Council meeting there’s foreshadowing of an upcoming discussion about perhaps extending that restriction to other areas where kids are more likely to be at play.
From the August 13 City Council minutes, an inquiry was made specific to speed zones around playgrounds and spray parks:
“Councillor Chaboyer enquired if reduced speed zones could be considered for areas around spray parks and playgrounds within the City of Brandon.
At the request of His Worship the Mayor, the City Manager responded that with the dissolution of the Provincial Highway Traffic Board, municipalities were now able to set speed zones within their jurisdiction and this matter would be discussed at an informal session of City Council in the near future.”
Though many of the city’s higher-use playgrounds are on school division property and already in speed-restricted areas for a large portion of the year, one recreational area that doesn’t fit that description that will likely be at the forefront of discussion would be Rideau Park which houses by far the city’s most popular spray park, it’s only outdoor swimming pool and one of its largest playgrounds. Downtown’s Stanley Park also contains a smaller scale spray park along with playground. Perhaps the residential area surrounding the large green space at Parkdale Park that contains arguably the city’s most popular playground will be examined as well.
Brandon is host to tons of other common area outdoor play spots and it will be interesting to see what kind of criteria might apply to determine which might be a candidate for reduced speeds. Also of interest will be whether potential restrictions would be in-place year round or in a pre-determined busier season.
It will be an item on a future council agenda worth watching for as the merits of such restrictions are weighed in deciding what's in the best interests of all involved. In the mean time you can share your two cents in a discussion with other members of this site in the attached discussion thread.
Updated: Aug 23, 6:12pm. Added info re ongoing discussion thread