• Billy Beringia

Pedestrian speed limits for Whitehorse

After a string of collisions on a busy Downtown street, Yukon's capital city is implementing new safety measures

Two zones designated for pedestrian speed limits on 2nd Avenue, Downtown Whitehorse


For years, pedestrians have been regularly hit and injured by vehicles on Whitehorse's busy 2nd Avenue. Now, the City of Whitehorse is proposing a bold solution to tackle the problem.

On March 19, the City unveiled its proposed "Slow Coach" initiative with council members approving first reading for the plan.


Mayor Dan Curtis said the cost of the project is not yet clear but that the City must move quickly to ensure the public's safety.


“We all know that reckless driving is responsible for the majority of pedestrian-vehicle collisions on 2nd Avenue," Curtis told media gathered at last night's council meeting. "Reduced speed limits and enforcement are utilized in cities across the world. But why copy everyone else? That's where the idea for 'Slow Coach' came from."

"Reduced speed limits and enforcement are utilized in cities across the world. But why copy everyone else?" - Dan Curtis, Whitehorse Mayor

The concept behind Slow Coach would see pedestrian speed limits implemented in two zoned sections of 2nd Avenue. Zone 1, stretching from Lowe to Main would have a pedestrian speed limit of 1 mile per hour. Zone 2, from Main to Ogilvie, would have a limit of 2 miles per hour.


"It's about changing people's attitudes," Curtis explained. "By forcing pedestrians to walk more slowly, they will become more aware of their surroundings. They will have more time to react to a car breaking a red light, for example, or a truck blowing through a pedestrian crossing."


Curtis hopes to see the safety initiative in place before the start of the summer tourist season.


Criticism over bus App


This is the second time in four months that the City promised to tackle a problem with a creative solution. In December 2019, councillors promised to roll out an App that would tell bus users how late their bus was. The City has since defended itself from criticism that it would be cheaper to change bus timetables to ensure buses can actually arrive on time.

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