Speeds are down in Waterloo school zones and residential areas, report says

Waterloo city council heard the first progress update on the Speed Management plan it began implementing over the summer, and according to staff, the initial results are positive.

As part of the plan, Waterloo trialled 30 km/h speed limits in all school zones, and speed limits of 40 km/h on minor collector roads, 50 km/h on major collector roads and 40 km/h on local roads in Ward 2. When the full plan is implemented, all other wards will follow Ward 2 as a guideline, however Ward 7 has a specific plan of 30 km/h on local roads, 40 km/h on minor collector roads, and 50 km/h on
major collector roads.

Historical speed data was compared to data collected between one and two months after new signs were installed.

The report suggests driver speeds on residential streets in wards two and seven are mostly reduced, but some work is still required in school zones.

School zone speed data before and after implementing the Speed Management plan. / City of Waterloo

The KW Bilingual School and Northlake Public School zones saw two different problems. Lowering the speed limit in the KW Bilingual School zone has resulted in driver speeds down by 8 km/h on average, but drivers are still exceeding the limit by 15 km/h. Meanwhile, Northlake was the only school zone to see increased speeds after implementation, though the speed was still relatively low.

The average driver was not speeding on any city streets in either of the wards. The only road to show no progress was Waterloo Street.

Council also approved Columbia Street between Phillip Street and Erbsville Road for a reduction to a 50 km/h zone Monday night.

The next phase of the plan is reducing speeds on city streets in Wards 4, 5 and 6 this spring. Staff will then update council February 2025.

Waterloo’s Speed Management phasing plan. / City of Waterloo

You can find more information on page 54 of Monday’s council packet here.

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