Bylbo: I'm not sure about anyone else but I was talking about CBD rather than Greater Melbourne, and the daftness that recognises suburban shopping strips as high-trafficked zones (in a non-car sense) when the CBD is not treated in this way. The original article referred to several inner-Sydney areas so I'm not sure anyone was talking about blanket 40 zones for Melbourne as a whole. The CBD would be so much better to cycle in as a 40khm zone. Love to see a 5km arc around the city too.
Differentiating speed limits throughout the day in the suburban high-pedestrian traffic zones doesn't work in my opinion and must be more expensive to maintain (fixed signs vs digital ones, etc), not to mention confusing for drivers. Don’t know about Whitehorse Road but my closest 40kmh zone is Racecourse Rd which is one that only operates during the day or perhaps up to 11pm (don’t know, it’s so rare that I drive). The 40kmh has made a huge difference in terms of noise reduction and the perception of safety for cyclists and pedestrians along the strip. Formerly, cars would exit CityLink and keep thumping along at close to a 100khm. That no longer happens during the day but when the limit is lifted in the evenings its a free for all again. I read somewhere that more people are now hit on that stretch at night, probably when pubs pour their drinkers out at closing time. Many of these current 40khm zones are 2030 hubs and attracting a lot of in-fill development nearby. Many of these folks choose this way of living as it means they don't need a car. I'm all for rewarding anyone who remains car-free and it this means 40kmh zones on what otherwise look like main roads, then so be it.
I see that a lot of drivers seem to be furious at being asked to slow down to 40kmh in school and other pedestrian heavy areas, but I can't really understand the fury. For many of us it is an achievement to drive more than 20km away from our houses in under an hour and that has very little to do with speed limits and a lot more to do with a main-road, traffic-light controlled strategy that has long outlived its usefulness, the massive growth in car ownership, level crossings, etc etc.