Pay Heed: Reduced Speed Limit West of Bank!
Old Ottawa South west of Bank Street has hopefully become safer because of a municipal initiative which designates certain neighbourhoods as 30 km/hr gateway speed zones. This new speed limit reduces the previous default speed limit of 40 or 50 km/hr with a new default of 30 km/hr.
Signage such as that in the accompanying photo is found at all entrances to the neighbourhood and a similar sign marks the exits. These signs have been placed designating an area from Colonel By Drive south to the Rideau River and from Bank Street to Bronson Avenue but these arterial streets are not included. There will be no speed limit signs inside the perimeter—drivers are expected to take note of the speed limit as they enter a gateway speed zone. Enforcement measures will undoubtedly be necessary to ensure the success of this initiative, especially in the early stages.
The ability of a municipality to designate neighbourhood speed zones has resulted from a 2018 change in provincial legislation. In August 2018, the Ottawa City Council approved funding for one gateway speed zone per ward. In Capital Ward, Councillor Menard chose to fund a second zone from his traffic and safety budget. Fortunately for us, he chose Old Ottawa South west of Bank along with the Glebe west of Bank Street. We are hopeful that Old Ottawa South east of Bank Street will receive a Gateway Speed Zone designation in the near future.