The speed limit on the west end of Lakeshore Drive will be reduced to 60 km/hr. from the currently posted 70 km/hr. later this year.
That’s not as dramatic a drop as was proposed by administration which recommended a 50 km zone right through to the town’s westerly boundary.
A request was made by the Summer Village of Norglenwold to reduce the speed from the Rustic Road corner (the easterly access to the summer village) to Range Road (RR) 15 (60th Street).
“The current speed limit, 70 km on this stretch of road, is a serious concern for the Summer Village of Norglenwold as well as the Town of Sylvan Lake,” wrote Phyllis Forsyth, the chief administrative officer of the summer villages, in a May 31st letter. “This is causing traffic to increase their speed to 100 km by the time they reach RR15. The increasing amount of traffic increases the risk of accidents occurring.
“An extension of the speed limit of 50 km from its western limit on Highway 11A to RR15 would improve the safety of drivers and residents,” she wrote. “With residents on both sides of the highway, these limits would be consistent with residential communities.”
This was the second letter from Norglenwold. A previous letter was received by the town last October.
Nick Reijnen, manager of municipal enforcement, in his report, talked about speed limit transition zones, and the ‘rhomboid’ type intersection which is actually two ‘T’ intersections — one at 60th Street and the other on the north side at Range Road 15.
Vehicles increasing speed through those intersections while others are slowing to turn was one of the concerns.
Transition zones are normally outside a municipality’s boundary, when leaving the community or entering the community, he stated. In this case the transition zone, from 50 km to 70 km begins just west of Rustic Road.
Councillor Laverne Asselstine voiced concern about dropping the limit to 50 and asked if there were issues because of accident history at the intersection of 60th/RR15. He later said, “50 is way too slow, I don’t think people are going to pay attention to it.”
Reijnen didn’t have accident information but indicated it’s not a major problem. “In terms of near misses I’ve seen that first hand, a lot of close calls.” He added with increased population there are more people walking and cycling on the road in that area. There have also been crashes where the road curves before heading along the lakeshore.
“I’d like to see some consistency in speed limits,” said Councillor Sean McIntyre. “Sylvan Lake is a challenge with varying speed limits.”
The move to 60 was approved with councillors Ken MacVicar, Dale Plante, Asselstine and McIntyre in favour while Mayor Susan Samson and Councillor Graham Parsons, who favoured the staff recommendation of 50, voted against the motion.
Reijnen said the change will take place in conjunction with Red Deer County which he indicated “is onside”. The county will have to create transition zones outside the town boundaries to slow eastbound traffic down before it hits the town boundary and increase the speed of westbound traffic after it leaves town.