After the Sept. 7 council meeting, the City of Chestermere announced it will soon implement a speed reduction on Chestermere Boulevard from the current 80 kilometres an hour to 60 kilometres an hour (km/h).
“The village has grown into a city, and it’s time to make the necessary changes,” said Mayor Marshall Chalmers during the Sept. 7 council meeting.
Permanent signage informing motorists of the speed reduction is set to be installed on Chestermere Boulevard from Invermere Drive to Range Road 284 by Oct. 15.
The decision comes after a traffic safety review was presented to council earlier this year. The release stated the review provided an analysis of pedestrian and cyclist use of the roadway, as well as data on the total number of speed violations and traffic collisions over the last four to five years.
“This summer, council requested that City staff examine how to enhance road safety on Chestermere Boulevard,” said Sgt. Trever Bowman with Chestermere Municipal Enforcement.
“After a traffic safety review was presented to council, the decision was made to reduce the speed limit in this area in the interest of pedestrian and commuter safety, and in preparation for the planned future growth of the city and increased traffic volume on [Chestermere] Boulevard.”
According to the review, approximately 183 violation tickets were issued for speeding in the 80 km/h section of the road between 2016 and 2020.
“Most ticketed vehicles were travelling 20 to 30 km/h over the posted speed limit and speeds in excess of 140 km/h were also recorded,” Bowman said.
Since 2017, there have been 74 motor vehicle collisions within the 80 km/h section of Chestermere Boulevard, according to the City, with nearly a third of those resulting in injuries.
“Another important factor that was examined was the number of pedestrians and cyclists that use this roadway, specifically between Invermere Drive and Rainbow Road, as there are no sidewalks in this area,” Bowman said. “Many people are using the shoulders to walk, run, and cycle to recreational or educational facilities.”
In terms of future growth, the City plans to install an additional set of traffic lights at the intersection of Chestermere Boulevard and Merganser Drive for the communities of Chelsea and Dawson’s Landing, to accommodate new developments.
Traffic lights will be installed in 2022 and will provide a speed reduction between Range Road 284 and Rainbow Road, Bowman added.
“So, setting a speed limit of 60 km/h on Chestermere Boulevard will also provide drivers with a consistent speed limit when travelling through Chestermere,” he said.
The release said Community Peace Officers and Chestermere RCMP members will be taking a gradual enforcement approach once the permanent speed reduction signs are installed. According to Bowman, officers will focus primarily on education in the first few weeks after the roll-out, to ensure commuters are aware of the speed limit changes.
“However, tickets will still be issued depending on the circumstances,” he added.