Green Councillor Proposes Measures to Revisit and Enhance 30 km/h Speed Limits on Local Streets in Vancouver

Reducing speed limits on non-arterial roads is seen as key to supporting City’s active transportation, social development, and climate goals and policies, says Fry.

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Councillor Pete Fry will be introducing a motion Revisiting and Refreshing Vancouver’s Commitment to Safer Slower Streets at Vancouver City Council April 10. 

Five years after first resolving to slow speed limits on local residential streets, Vancouver continues to see growth in active transportation, fueled by sweeping changes to micromobility policies, economic pressures, traffic congestion, and generational change. 

Citing extensive national and international research and best practices, Fry’s motion suggests limiting cars, micromobility, and active transportation to the same low speeds on streets with mixed motorized and non-motorised traffic is a logical approach, and supports the Vision Zero strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

The motion revisits the implementation of reduced speed limits on local residential streets, building on previous efforts in 2019 when City Council unanimously approved the concept of 30 km/h speed limits on local roads – requesting the province amend the Motor Vehicle Act to allow the municipality to set a default speed limit.

In 2019, the Slower Safer Streets resolution was well received at the Union of BC Municipalities, with support from across the province for reducing speed limits on local roads (defined as streets without a centre line and with fewer than 1,000 cars per day). 

Since 2019, several key developments inform the consideration to revisit and refresh the commitment to safer slower streets:

  • Clarification from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure regarding the interpretation of the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) speed limit sign-frequency requirements.
  • Implementation of 30 km/h speed limits on local streets in Victoria.
  • Approval of sweeping new micro mobility policies in Vancouver, leading to increased active transportation users on city roads.

Councillor Fry emphasized the importance of limiting cars and speeds on shared roadways to enhance road safety and promote active transportation. "With recent changes to enable more micromobility and changing demographic preferences, cost of living pressures, reduced parking in new buildings, and other disruptors like food delivery apps, the imperative to create safe avenues for people to get around is greater than ever ".

The motion includes specific asks, including:

  • Providing clarity on the MoTI interpretation of the MVA and Victoria's 30 km/h project.
  • Presenting phasing options for implementing city-wide speed limit reductions or scaling Neighbourhood Slow Zones.
  • Exploring funding options for consideration.
  • Developing a strategy to limit and slow motor vehicle traffic on Local Street Bikeways.

Councillor Pete Fry, highlighting the leadership of the Greens in advocating for safer streets and active transportation initiatives, added: "We succeeded in getting this passed at Vancouver and lobbied our colleagues in local government across BC to win support in 2019 which resulted in some successful pilots and pandemic-opportunities."

On how the motion could be received at Council, Fry mused “we know that Mayor Sim and his ABC Party campaigned on and promised a lot of these same commitments to safer slower streets including neighbourhood traffic planning and the fifteen-minute city, so this should be the kind of policy that all of Council can get on board with.”

The motion will be discussed and considered in the upcoming Tuesday April 10th council meeting.


Link to motion:


Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. First implemented in Sweden in the 1990s, Vision Zero has proved successful across Europe — and now it’s gaining momentum in major American cities.

Victoria: We Go Slow helps everyone move around safely. All local streets in the City of Victoria are changing from 50 km/h to 30 km/h. Lower speed limits on local streets started rolling out in spring 2023 with the Hillside Quadra neighbourhood followed by Burnside Gorge, Oaklands and Victoria West. North Park, Jubilee and Fernwood are currently underway.