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Speed limits reduced in Duncan

Default speed on most routes down to 30 km/hr
Brian Murphy, Duncan’s director of public works and engineering is spearheading the initiative to lower speed limits in the city. (Citizen file photo)

Drivers might want to check their speed when traveling through downtown Duncan.

The City of Duncan began installing new speed limit signs on its downtown roadways on Feb. 5 that now require motorists to limit their speed to 30 kilometres per hour in the city core, down from the former 50 km/hr speed limit on these routes.

There are some exceptions, including sections of Government Street, Canada Avenue, Coronation Avenue, and Trunk Road, where the speed limit is now reduced to 40 km/hr.

The speed limit on the section of the Trans-Canada Highway that runs through Duncan will remain 50 km/hr as it is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.


“The city is pleased to be a leader on Vancouver Island in reducing vehicle speed limits in our jurisdiction,” said Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples. “By reducing the default speed limit, we can make a positive impact on road safety by reducing the likelihood or severity of a crash. We thank Vision Zero BC and ICBC for their support and funding of this initiative.”

This change aligns with community feedback received through the city’s draft transportation and mobility strategy’s public engagement process, and through Official Community Plan community engagement sessions that were held in late April, 2023.

Brian Murphy, Duncan’s director of public works and engineering who is spearheading the project, told council last May that the speed-reduction project targets several road-safety issues; including speeding, distracted driving, pedestrian safety, children at play, road safety for disadvantaged groups, and unsafe driving.


Murphy said travel speeds are a critical factor in determining the severity of a crash and whether it occurs at all.

A 2014 briefing note from the National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy reports that a pedestrian struck at 30 km/hr has a 90 per cent chance of surviving, while at 50 km/hr they have only a 15 per cent chance.

Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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