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Speed taken down a notch

Old Airport Road limit reduced to 45 km/h

Kathleen Lippa
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Jan 31/03) - There's no need to rush on Old Airport Road, especially now that the speed limit has been reduced from 60 km/h to 45 km/h.

"If you could ever take a picture of two vehicles -- one trying to get on and one trying to get off Old airport Road at the same time -- you'll see why there's a concern there," said Greg Kehoe, the city's Public Works manager.

The speed limit was reduced on Monday after years of observation.

"A lot of people pray and then go," explained Jennifer Roste, public works engineer. "You have to step on it to get out without getting sided."

Traffic lights were installed in September on Old Airport Road and Borden Drive to address the increased traffic problem.

"We didn't want to change the speed limit until we tried the lights," Roste said.

But even with the lights, people still couldn't get onto the road safely, Roste said.

With just a shoulder and no sidewalk, the city was also concerned about speed due to the growing number of pedestrians, bikers, and moms and dads pushing baby carriages in the area. Truck drivers from RTL, the company responsible for huge truck loads up the winter roads to replenish the mines, were also seeking a lower speed limit, Kehoe said.

"The winter road is happening shortly," Kehoe said, "and there'll be an increase in truck traffic."