DCMontreal: Blowing the Whistle on Society

Eclectic social commentary with a chuckle and maybe a sting in the tail

Montreal’s Innovative Speed Limit Signs


As the song says, “Money’s too tight to mention”. Whether people or countries, provinces or states, even cities, with but a few exceptions, there never seems to be enough cash to do all the things required or wanted.

The woman suggested that rather than change thousands of existing signs, a method of adapting them to fit the new speed limits would save much time and expense.

I’m pleased to be able to write that while my city, Montreal, like many others, is in a financial bind, efforts are being made to cut costs. Not just by raising taxes, or cutting back on services, but by means of good old fashioned innovation.

Many North American cities are discovering that the system of speed limits being determined by certain zones is no longer useful, and that even within a relatively small area two or three different speed limits would be more apt, depending on schools, parks, number of children, etc.

To adapt to these new speed limit requirements, a study was undertaken and the various areas of the city were examined street-by-street to determine what best suited each particular district. The findings were reported to City Council late last year. With this report in hand the city was now faced with the daunting task of changing a large number of the existing speed limits, and of course the speed limit postings.

Speed Limit

CBC

Here comes the innovative part. A woman in the city’s accounting department brought forth a suggestion that made its way through the proper channels – no mean feat in most civic administrations – and will be implemented starting this spring. The woman suggested that rather than change thousands of existing signs, a method of adapting them to fit the new speed limits would save much time and expense. Her idea was to crimp the corner(s) of speed limit signs as needed. For each crimped corner the posted speed limit is reduced by 2.5 kilometers an hour. For instance, a sign indicating a speed limit of 40 kilometers per hour (k/ph) with two crimped corners would now mean a limit of 35 k/ph; that’s 40 – (2.5 x 2) = 35. The photograph above shows a sign that was originally posting a 30 k/ph limit but with all four corners crimped is now a 20 k/ph zone, owing to a large school and park on the street.

For instance, a sign indicating a speed limit of 40 kilometers per hour with two crimped corners would now mean a limit of 35 k/ph; that’s 40 – (2.5 x 2) = 35.

A recent CBC item had a comment from an unnamed city official explaining that students will be hired this summer to undertake the crimping “… by using a special tool that is a cross between a long-handled tree pruner and a pair of vise-grips”.

During the late summer return-to-school period the city will launch a media campaign explaining the new signage and how it works.

In a time of foolish often frivolous government spending I am pleased to say that my city is at least trying to use its head when it comes to cutting costs. Although I am sure in the first stages of the roll-out many motorists will be fooled by this crimping of signs, this will just plunk more cash in the city coffers via speeding tickets! The full details of the CBC story can be seen here.

Me DCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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One thought on “Montreal’s Innovative Speed Limit Signs

  1. Paul Stubbs on said:

    You had me going until I realized that the new system would assume that the populace could “do“ basic math. Not a safe assumption in this province. P.

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