MEDIA RELEASE – June 1, 2019
June is Bike Month across Alberta. To celebrate, Community Cruisers is launching LOVE 30 KPH, to raise community support for lowering the speed limits to 30 kilometres per hour on roads where we live, work, shop and play. This campaign is a direct result of our school travel planning projects with Banff Elementary School, funded by the Town of Banff, and Elizabeth Rummel School in Canmore, funded by the Alberta Traffic Safety Fund. Family surveys were performed at both schools. The respondents strongly indicated that excessive vehicle speeds and failure to yield to children and adults walking and wheeling at cross walks and intersections were discouraging those wishing to travel by bike or on foot. This spurred Community Cruisers to join a growing global movement to slow the speed of traffic on our streets.
When we make it more comfortable, enjoyable and safe for our children to travel actively, we make it better for all community members: seniors and those with mobility issues, visitors, as well as active people who love to go everywhere by bike. The more we can shift the transportation mode from autos to walking and biking, the less traffic congestion we will have. This leaves more road space and parking for those who need to drive.
A 30 kph limit makes it more enjoyable to walk and wheel in our community. It also decreases thenumber of vehicle collisions and the severity of injuries in collisions. The World Health Organization has stated that a person hit by an automobile travelling at 30 kph has a 9 in 10 chance of surviving the crash. A person hit by an auto travelling 50 kph has a 1.5 in 10 chance of survival. This data alone justifies the speed reduction. Research also shows that reducing speeds from 50 kph to 30 kph has minimal impact on travel times in town.
The community benefits don’t stop there. Vehicles travelling at 30 kph pollute less than those travelling at 50 kph. When there is more biking and walking and less driving, local air quality improves. Inhaling even the smallest amount of car exhaust is now known to have toxic effects on the body and brain. Research has shown that lowering speeds can also reduce street noise up to 40%. Finally, the more we get people out of their cars to experience our business sectors by bike or on foot, the more profit will be generated. Cars don’t shop, people do!
Both the Towns of Banff & Canmore have considered this change but have yet to act. Show your support and call on our municipal leaders to make this happen! Tell them that the ability of our children to walk and wheel to school, and the health and prosperity of our community is more important than shaving seconds off a vehicle trip within Banff or Canmore.
Please register your support on the Cruiser’s LOVE 30 KPH webpage: communitycruisers.ca/love30kph/