Weyburn council going slow on speed issues

Speed limits were again the point of discussion at Weyburn’s city council, but not for the issue one would think, as councillors could not agree on what the speed limit for Railway Avenue should be.
The discussion arose from the traffic bylaw, which came back for some final changes to various aspects governing everything from definitions to penalties.
Coun. Dick Michel said there were just two “contentious” issues to decide on in the bylaw: putting a time limit on the school zone speed limit to only be in effect from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and to raise the speed limit on Railway Avenue from 40 to 50 km an hour from 16th Street over to Government Road.
As it happened, the school zone speed issue never got discussed at all, but rather the speed limit for Railway Avenue, as some councillors feel going 50 on this road is too fast, particularly where motorists back out onto the road.
An attempt by Coun. Michel to remove this change from the bylaw failed with a tie vote, so now the bylaw will come back for its third and final reading at a future council meeting, where it only needs a majority vote to pass.
The concern over the higher speed was related to the parking lots where patrons back out onto Railway Avenue, but also over having the higher speed in the busy core area from Fourth Street over to Government Road.
Perhaps a slight amendment could be made to have the speed in effect just to Fifth or Fourth Street, and this would take care of part of the concern. It’s possible this concern is just over-stated because people are too used to driving at 40 around Weyburn.
Mayor Marcel Roy raised a legitimate point, in that there are motorists who don’t even drive at the slow speed of 30, but at 20 km an hour. As he rightly pointed out, slow drivers can be just as much of a hazard as those who speed, but the bylaw doesn’t currently provide a minimum speed limit. This is a hazard, but is it widespread enough to warrant putting into a bylaw?
The school zone changes don’t go far enough, as they shouldn’t be in effect 365 days a year — but at least the times suggested are more reasonable.
As Coun. Brad Wheeler pointed out, the recommendations for changes were suggested by the engineering department, and by the police who enforce these laws, and they are the most knowledgeable about what is a hazard on the streets of Weyburn. With some tweaks, this bylaw should be passed into law at the next council meeting.

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