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Four schools that are to be closed will still receive new speed zone signs, the city says

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City Hall will begin renovating the 20 school zones this summer by adding or improving pedestrian ramps, updating signage to national standards and implementing speed limits. City workers should have the signage changes completed by September.

City Hall plans to install 120 new speed signs in school areas by September, including near the four buildings that will be closed after the community site opens in 2025.

City Hall will begin renovating the 20 school zones this summer by adding or improving pedestrian ramps, updating signage to national standards and implementing speed limits. City workers should have the signage changes completed by September.

The speed limit in these zones is currently 40 km/h between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Once the local council passes a new ordinance, the speed limit is expected to be raised to 30 km/h between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., seven days a week.

The total cost of the changes to the school and playground signs is estimated at $500,000.

In total, the city plans to order and install 650 signs. If the city council does not change the speed limits, the new signs for school and playground zones will still be improved to make them more reflective and look more modern.

During the most recent regular meeting in May, council asked the city administration if it planned to update the signs near Westmount, Empire, St. Mary and Sacred Heart, even though they will be closed once the shared school in the Westheath neighborhood opens next year.

This concern was a topic of discussion among engineers and it was concluded that it would be appropriate to include these sites in the upgrade once the project begins, said operations manager Bevan Harlton.

One reason is that these schools will still be open in September 2024, another reason is that there is usually a playground or park area in these areas, so the city would accommodate that, he continued. Additionally, once these four schools are closed, City Hall can convert these school zones into playgrounds.

If those four buildings are used for other purposes in the future, city workers would remove the school-related speed signs, re-instate them and replace them with a standard sign, Harlton added.

The next regular council meeting will be on Monday, May 27.