City installing 40 km per hour signs on most residential streets

Watch your speed on residential streets.

The City of St. Catharines is installing “Maximum 40 Area Begins” and “Maximum 40 Area Ends” signs at or near the intersection of every residential street that meets either a collector or arterial road.

Residential streets internal to the designated areas will not receive the signs.

The City has a statutory, default speed limit of 50 km/h on all streets within the urban area in keeping with the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. In 2018, the Act was amended to allow municipalities to enact lower speed limits area-wide through new gateway speed limit signs.

Since, many municipalities have lowered their residential streets’ speed limit, said Brian Applebee, manager of transportation services.

In 2022, Council unanimously approved and endorsed City transportation staff’s recommendation to reduce to 40 km/h the speed limit on residential streets.

“Forty kilometres per hour is an appropriate speed for these streets,” Applebee said. “The good news is, in fact, most people are already driving that speed, so the signage is  a reinforcement of the appropriate speed for most people, but also serves the important role of notifying motorists what the legal speed limit is on local residential streets within these areas.”

Applebee noted a 40 km/h speed limit on residential streets is in keeping with the principles of Niagara Region’s Vision Zero program.

Key priorities of the Region’s Vision Zero initiative are to improve road safety and to reduce speeding and dangerous driving.

“Vision Zero means working to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries, reducing the chance and severity of collisions, especially those involving vulnerable road users, and considering all modes of transportation, especially active transportation modes, by focusing on improving equity in the transportation system,” Applebee said.

 The City’s contractor will install approximately 1,300 signs this year.

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