Vernon council reverses decision over speed limit increase on Commonage Road | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon council reverses decision over speed limit increase on Commonage Road

From right: Councillors Brian Quiring and Dalvir Nahal at the Nov. 25, 2019, Vernon city council meeting.
November 25, 2019 - 4:27 PM

In a U-turn decision, Vernon city council has decided not to increase the speed limit on a section of Commonage Road.

Council had voted in favour of increasing the speed limit on the 700 metre stretch of road to 70 km/h at its Nov. 12 meeting, ignoring a staff recommendation not to increase the speed.

In a reversal of his original decision, Councillor Brian Quiring put forward a motion to reconsider the increased speed limit.

“I can't support 70 km/h,” Quiring said.

He said although he'd originally supported and voted to increase the speed limit he had since changed his mind.

Quiring said his daughter had hit a deer on Commonage Road, and he himself driving at 80 km/h had been passed by a vehicle driving at 120 km/h. The councillor also said visibility on the road was poor, and the sightline at the intersection with Bench Row Road meant drivers took "their life into their own hands."

Council heard that while a petition in favour of increasing the speed had received over 300 signatures, a petition opposing the increase had also received a similar number of signatures.

Anderson was the lone voice on council in favour of increasing the speed limit.

He argued the road had been built to accommodate a speed limit of 70 km/h and the majority of drivers travelled at 70 or 80 km/h on Commonage Road.

“(The) speed limit should be set at what 80 per cent of drivers obey,” he said.

Anderson argued that as people drive to road conditions, lowering the speed made the road more dangerous as drivers tried to pass slower vehicles.

Councillor Kari Gares disagreed.

“Increasing to 70 km/h makes absolutely no sense,” she said. Councillor Akbal Mund agreed.

Following a lengthy conversation between councillors, a motion passed to keep the current 60 km/h speed limit in place.

Councillors Kelly Fehr and Dalvir Nahal were absent for the debate.

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