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Old Island Highway speed limit in north Nanaimo being reduced

Speed limit being reduced from 80km/h to 70km/h starting Monday, March 16
Traffic on the old Island Highway close to Woodgrove Centre on Wednesday morning. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Traffic in Nanaimo’s north end will be slowed down starting next week.

The province announced on Wednesday morning that the speed limit on the old Island Highway from Enterprise Way to the junction with Highway 19 will be reduced to 70 kilometres per hour. The new speed limit takes effect Monday, March 16.

“Reducing the highway speed limit will help lower the chance of collisions for people entering and leaving the highway along this commercial corridor,” notes a press release from the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The current speed limit on that stretch of the old Island Highway is 80km/h. Other portions of the old Island Highway that have 80km/h speed limits will retain those speeds.

The ministry notes that the decision to lower the speed limit was made following “extensive monitoring and an engineering review,” as well as consultation with the City of Nanaimo, RCMP, ICBC and Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement. The release adds that the change will “improve safety for people travelling along Highway 19A through the shopping district” in the city’s north end, noting that there are multiple business entrances there.

There is a red light/speed camera at the intersection of the old Island Highway, Hammond Bay Road and Aulds Road. The province says the red light function of the camera will remain active, but the speed enforcement function will be deactivated for five months “to allow drivers time to adjust to the new speed limit.”

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