April 4, 2018
City crews took down school zone signs and installed playground zone signs at St. Basil Elementary/Junior High School and Spruce Avenue School today. This was the last school zone to become a playground zone and brings the total to 407 playground zones in Edmonton.
Some school zones did not include the area in front of play equipment or sports fields. The new playground zones includes these areas, and are in effect every day from 7:30 a.m to 9 p.m.
“Extending the hours of the 30 km/h speed limit protects children who use school grounds on weekends and evenings, and provides additional awareness for those attending after-school activities,” said Anna Dechamplain, Acting Branch Manager for Parks & Roads Services with the City of Edmonton.
In September, 2017, City Council voted unanimously to approve playground zones, and crews started installing standalone playground zone signs shortly after that. The first school zone conversion to a playground zone happened on November 7, 2017, and conversion of other school zones continued over the winter.
“When we first installed school zones in 2014, some people objected to the lower speed limit. Playground zones extend that protection,” says Dechamplain. “In school zones, we have seen a speed reduction of 12 km/h in average speeds, a 41% reduction in fatal and injury collisions, and a 71% reduction in fatal and injury collisions which involved vulnerable road users.”
Increasing safety for children and other vulnerable road users is part of the Vision Zero Edmonton initiative. Vision Zero focuses on safe speeds, engineering, education and other measures to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities.