Friday, August 29, 2014

New school and playground zone hours in effect September 1

School and playground zones are an important part of keeping children safe on city streets. Starting September 1, 2014, school and playground zone hours will be changed to one consistent time. Here are the facts.

School and playground zone hours are now the same. Slow down to 30km/h during these times:

Playground zones are in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., all year around.
School zones are in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., on school days only.

There are 180 school zones and 1510 playground zones in the city. Crews have been busy all month changing the times on almost 5,000 signs around Calgary.

Why the change?
Changing school and playground zone hours to one consistent time was a proactive measure to improve pedestrian safety.

The City talked to school boards, the Calgary Police Service, the Alberta Motor Association, and other municipalities in Alberta about changing school and playground zone times.

Through these discussions, we heard the following:
  • The “one hour after sunset” end time for playground zones was too open-ended. End times would vary from as early as 5 p.m. in winter, and as late as 11 p.m. in summer.  
  • The unspecified end time made it difficult for drivers to consistently follow the rules. 
  • Schools are regularly used in the evenings for extracurricular activities, such as community sports – the old times did not take after-hours use into account.
The new hours reflect the times that these areas are being used by children and other pedestrians, and provide drivers with consistent times that can be easily remembered.

How does this impact your commute?
The new school and playground zone times will have a minimal impact on your travel time. Most school and playground zones are 100-200 metres long. Slowing down to 30km/h in these areas will add approximately 4-10 seconds to your commute, but can increase a pedestrians chance of survival by 70 per cent.

Visit for more information.

Thank you for helping us keep Calgary safe!


  1. It should probably say that "it can increase a pedestrian's chance of survival by 70 per cent" IF YOU HIT HIM WITH YOUR CAR.

    1. ....what if the person is riding a bike? They are subject to the same rules, I hope. Though most bike riders I've seen don't even stop at stop signs. I've nearly run over a few when they go through stop signs.

  2. ...why didn't they make it 9pm instead of 2100? Most people know what 9pm means, whereas they might not know what 2100 means.

  3. I understand do the purpose, but I believe there is a better way to do this. Also, how about we try to improve Calgarians ability to merge, yield, and to understand what the PASSING lane is used for! It'd be much appreciated if most would learn how to drive in the first place. Especially during Winter and when the ground gets a little damp, causing all these drivers to drive with their tails between their legs. Also creating a panic in most of them. Anyway, getting back on track. Let's focus on traffic flow, and reducing MVA's. A cops quota, is never going to solve this.

  4. As a preschool school here in Calgary, we are always happy to see new regulations for keeping children safe on the streets. Well done, city of Calgary!