The Yarra City Council will become the first Victorian council to introduce a 30 km/h speed limit for local road users, a development welcomed by Bicycle Network.
The 12-month trial, set to begin in 2018, is being implemented based on evidence that a 30km/h speed limit on streets will significantly lower risks for vulnerable road users including bike riders and pedestrians.
Speed limits will drop to 30km/h on the streets bound by Alexandra Parade, Hoddle Street, Johnston Street, and Nicholson Street.
It is the next step towards the Yarra City Council’s 2026 strategy to have no serious injuries or deaths on their roads, according to Yarra Mayor, Cr Amanda Stone.
“We have already seen the benefits of reducing the speed limit to 40km/h on all residential streets in Yarra”, she said.
“We now want to investigate whether 30km/h will provide even safer conditions, especially for vulnerable road users.”
Cr Stone added that at 30km/h the risk of serious injury or death from a crash hugely decreases.
“A report from the Monash University Accident Research Centre states that a pedestrian hit by a motor vehicle is twice as likely to survive if the vehicle is travelling at 30km/h rather than 40k/h.”
Bicycle Network has been calling for 30km/h speed limits as part of its Low Speed Locals campaign and CEO Craig Richards welcomed the Yarra City Council’s trial.
“It’s fantastic to see the Yarra City Council showing leadership and paving the way for safer streets,” said Mr Richards.
“We know that 30km/h is the magic speed limit where the impact of crashes is greatly reduced, and it also makes riding a bike much more appealing.”
“Lower speed limits will encourage everyone to ride a bike, from eight-year-olds to eighty-year-olds and everyone in between.”
The Yarra City Council has committed $25,000 to the trial and will seek additional funding from VicRoads and the Safe Travel Speeds in Local Streets Program.
The success of the trial will be assessed after 12 months. The results will be based on number of bike riders, number of crashes compared to previous years, travel times, and community feedback.