30 km/h between 7:30am-9pm every day where playground zone signs are posted. Once the signs are up, the 30 km/hr speed limit is in effect.
There are 393 playground zones in Edmonton. This includes:
- 241 schools zones that became playground zones
- 152 standalone playgrounds
Changes to Playground Zones
At the December 11, 2018, City Council meeting, Council approved modifications to 26 of the originally installed 407 playground zones. The changes included:
- Total removal of 12 playground zones
- Removal of 30 km/h speed limits on some roads surrounding playground zones
- Shortening or extending some playground zones
Playground Zone Modification List, December 11, 2018
At the February 5, 2019, City Council meeting, Council approved removal of two playground zones:
- Mill Woods Road NW from 85 Street to 91 Street (Millwoods Christian School)
- 95 Avenue NW from 165 Street and 167 Street (Westlawn School)
Longer 30 km/h Zones and Hours
Previous school zones may not have included the school’s playground area or sports fields, so the new 30 km/h playground zone signs may be posted to incorporate them.
30 km playground zones are from 7:30am to 9pm (7:30-21:00) everyday, not just school days. Extending the hours:
- Protects children attending after-hour activities at schools
- Reduces driver confusion around changing hours in different zones
- Creates consistent start and end times city-wide where our children play
Long/Combined Playground Zones
Where only a short distance would exist between playground areas, playground zones will be combined for an extended playground zone that covers the entire stretch. This prevents possible driver confusion from speeding up and slowing down multiple times in a short distance.
An example is 144 Avenue where Kildare School, Father Leo Green Junior High and Londonderry Junior High are one after another. Creating a single 30 km/h zone makes sense.
In the evening or on a weekend when school zones wouldn’t be in effect, the longest playground zone (800 m) will add 48 seconds to a person’s travel time. The average playground (200 m) adds about 12 seconds.
Where and when possible, driver feedback signs will be installed in long 30 km/h zones.
Why Is It Important to Slow Down?
Stopping Distances - Ideal Conditions
- When the roads are wet or icy, you need 5 extra meters at 30 km/h and 10 extra meters at 50 km/h in order to stop safely
A 30 km/hr impact is the equivalent of falling from a second story window (3.5 metres). A collision at 50 km/hr is like falling from a fourth floor window (9.8 metres).
Since the implementation of school zones, collisions in school zones have been reduced by 13%. Injuries and fatalities have been reduced by 42% and injuries to vulnerable road users has gone down by 71%.
Vulnerable Road Users
When children are struck by vehicles, their injuries often result in life threatening or permanent damage. The faster a vehicle is moving, the greater the impact and the more devastating the results.
- Aged 5 to 14 years are at the greatest risk for pedestrian-related deaths
- Aged 10 to 14 years have the highest incidence of pedestrian-related injuries
- Have difficulty judging the speed and distance of cars
- Believe if they can see a car, the driver can see them
- Assume a car can stop instantly
- Have a limited peripheral vision, and
- Have a limited sense of danger
Injury Statistics on Traffic Injuries to Children
In the last five years, there have been 176 injury collisions involving children aged 15 years or younger on collector and local roadways (non-arterial).
- 37% (65) of those collisions occurred in areas that will be covered by the proposed playground zones (even though, playground zones would constitute only 7% of the entire collector and local road network)
- 20% of those injured in those 65 collisions required hospitalization
- 99% of the 65 injury collisions happened between 7:30am-9pm (the proposed hours of playground zones)
Caution, School or Play Area
The yellow signs, commonly known as playground zone or school zone signs, are sometimes seen without the speed-limit posted below it. These signs mean a school is in the area or children may be playing nearby. Caution is required, but the 30 km/h speed limit does not apply.
You may see these signs where schools or playgrounds are located on arterial roads or near green spaces without playground equipment.