The Town of Smithers is one step closer to reducing the speed limit along Third Avenue.
At the regular council meeting last night, the first three readings of a bylaw to lower the speed from 50 km/h to 30 were passed.
The concept of reducing the speed limit was in response to a town hall meeting held during the summer on making Third Ave. a dedicated bike lane. While that plan didn’t go ahead, it was decided to mark the street indicating the route was to be shared between bikes and cars and to reduce the speed limit to 30 km/h.
“There are a number of 30 zones along Third so this is simply connecting those up,” Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach said.
Bachrach said council is looking to staff to provide direction as to how the education and enforcement component of the changes to Third Ave. will roll out.
“We’re open on feedback to how it’s working for people and I think it’s going to work relatively well,” he said. “The new sharrow markings on Third indicate we encourage bikes to use the lane where it’s narrow because in the on-street parking and the traffic lane there really isn’t any room to ride along the side of the traffic with traffic passing.”
Adoption is expected to take place during the next regular Town of Smithers Council meeting Oct. 8 and the new speed limit signs will be in place shortly after.
“Our intention for Third Ave. was really to slow traffic down. To say, ‘ If you’re looking for a route to get across town quickly, this isn’t the best one,’” Bachrach said. “We want people to feel it is safe to use a bicycle on and it’s safe for kids.”