Yarra to explore reduced speed limits to increase community safety
Wednesday 17 February 2016
Yarra Council has commenced the process to trial a 30km/h zone in local streets in Fitzroy in 2017/18, as part of a suite of innovative and responsible traffic treatments to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.
The proposal was endorsed by Council at its meeting on 2 February, but was put on hold subject to a motion to rescind (reverse). At its meeting on 15 February, the rescission motion was not supported; therefore the original Council resolution from 2 February stands.
Pending the outcome of a community consultation, the trial will be conducted in local streets within the area bounded by Alexandra Parade, Smith Street, Johnston Street and Nicholson Street.
Yarra Mayor, Cr Roberto Colanzi said: “Council supports the principle of 30km/h speed limits as an innovative traffic treatment to improve safety for all road users.
“Council began rolling out 40km/h speed limits in 2006 and since 2010, when significant 40km/h coverage across the municipality was achieved, there has been a significant trend downwards in crashes involving injury on our local roads.
“Our total injury crashes on local roads dropped from 131 in 2010 to 102 in 2015 and serious injury crashes from 44 in 2010 to 33 in 2015.
“This is a notable result, especially against the backdrop of a considerable increase in cycling on local roads in Yarra during this time.
“Our statistics are supported by research both in Australia and overseas showing that slower speed limits result in a significant reduction in traffic related incidents and accidents.”
Mayor Colanzi said the trial would go ahead in the second half of 2017, pending consultation with the local community and approval from VicRoads.
“We have already undertaken a detailed traffic study in this area and we believe it could benefit from the lower speed limit. But, we will listen to what our residents have to say about the lower speed limit before any decision is made.”
Council continues thinking outside the square when it comes to improving the safety, amenity and enjoyment of local streets.
“Innovative traffic treatments like the painted road surface in Walnut Street, which continues to receive widespread community support, help to build people’s awareness about local roads and laneways being shared spaces and that vehicles need to slow down,” Cr Colanzi said.
“We ensure the design of the traffic treatment is sympathetic to the location, allowing us to achieve multiple positive outcomes including improved road safety, attractive streetscapes and better amenity for pedestrians and cyclists.”
Full Council resolution from 2 February 2016
Traffic Treatments that may enhance the Safety of Cyclists
1. Council resolves to:
(a) trial the use of sinusoidal road humps when the appropriate opportunity arises as part of Council’s planned 2016/17 Road Renewal or LATM Capital Works program.
(b) explore the potential for an area-wide 30kph trial and research study in the LATM 9
Rose precinct. Officers will undertake this action within the 2017/18 timeframe subject to:
(i) VicRoads approval; and
(ii) obtaining external funding; or
(iii) in the event that external funding cannot be obtained, the $25,000 referred for consideration to the 2016/17 Council budget to fund the trial, is provided;
(c) continue to trial varying types of ‘psychological’ traffic treatments through Council’s future LATM Capital Works program and evaluate against traditional traffic treatments;
(d) continue to advocate to State Government the important role that residential streets play in the cycling network and the importance of State funding being provided to improve bicycle facilities on local streets; and
(e) continue to work with other councils and VicRoads to improve bicycle infrastructure across municipal boundaries.
2. That officers consult with the Bicycle Advisory Committee and Bicycle Network Victoria and Disability Advisory Group and Active Aging Committee and report back to the second Council Meeting in March on further appropriate treatment works.
3. That consideration of traffic treatments that enhance the safety of cyclists be included in the future terms of reference for the forthcoming LATMS in Yarra.
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