Edmonton traffic planners are either ignorant or stupid

Well, last week we heard that Alberta RCMP were clamping down on speeders (apparently a bunch of sherrifs were busy at the airport overpass on Thursday).

RCMP Spokesperson Doris Stapleton says the month of April usually sees an increase in speed-related crashes.

"We are asking motorists to obey all posted speed limits and use common sense. Slow down in bad weather, at night, and when driving on poorly lit roadways."
Uh, we did slow down for the bad weather. It's gone now, so now we drive fast again. And stop hounding us on the stupid "posted speed limit": you didn't put a moment's thought into creating that limit, and expect us all to follow it like a pack of trained seals.
In 2008, almost one out of every four fatal crashes involved driving at a speed unsafe for the road conditions.
Actually the British have found the number closer to 1/14 crashes caused by unsafe speeds. Police still report speed as a factor in 1/4 crashes, but it doesn't mean anything: as the linked site notes, its like saying that flight is a factor in plane crashes.

This is big because Edmonton is mulling lowering...that's right, lowering speed limits in residential neighbourhoods. The first thing to remember is that speed limits in Edmonton are all set artificially too low. The Whitemud was designed for 110 km/hr traffic in the 60s. There isn't a road in Edmonton that has a speed limit following the "85th percentile" rule, the gold standard for setting sensible and enforceable speed limits without interference from police and city councils who find their funding is vastly improved with:
a) a large number of people violating artifically low speed limits and having to pay tickets
b) justify their continued existence by being able to post news releases like this about "outrageous speeders", never mentioning that the "50 km/h zone on 118 Avenue and 54 Street" should be 80 km/h

So its a horrific shame that Edmonton's roadways are being threatened with lower speed limits, when what are needed are higher speed limits. Putting out "speeding is evil" ad campaigns really start losing their punch when it turns out that driving 75 km/h down 91st street is "speeding", or that daring to go 90 km/h on the Whitemud is a crime.

So as I mentioned on Twitter last week, if you're pulled over for speeding in Edmonton, ask the cop if you were over the 85th percentile. If you weren't, or if he doesn't know, then you weren't speeding.
Modern "speed kills" road safety policy appears to think that the ideal is traffic at zero mph and no accidents.
Here we see that The City of Edmonton has vaguely been informed of the 85th percentile: they believe that if the 85th percentile exceeds the posted limit by more than 8 km/hr they will "look at" raising the limit. Look at? The 85th percentile is telling the City of Edmonton that they are stupid. The 85th percentile is telling them what the speed limit is supposed to be. For the numbnuts on City Council to think they know the proper speed limit better than the combined wisdom of traffic engineers and 85% of the population is ludicrous. People like Amarjeet Sohi are morons who should be nowhere near the levers of power.