Austroads, the collective of the Australian and New Zealand transport agencies, representing all levels of government changed their guidance on 30km/h in April 2020.
Austroads has updated their guidance in April 2020. In their Guide to Traffic Management Part 4: Network Management strategies, it now says “In a vehicle- pedestrian collision, the probability of survival for the pedestrian decreases dramatically at impact speeds above about 30 km/h.”
In a webinar on Pedestrian Planning Concepts held on 27 May 2020 the example of a 30km/h trial in Christchurch was discussed. The speed limit change reduced crashes and injuries overall, whilst activity (vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists) had increased. The following point was made: “The most effective measure to date to improve pedestrian safety is the adoption of lower urban speed limits” https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6946830319064753933
Transport for NSW is open for more 30km/h trial zones as a COVID19 response to support more active travel.
Councils were encouraged to apply for Streets as Shared Spaces grants by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for temporary activation projects to deliver short-term improvements to local streets, paths or public spaces (application deadline 10 June 2020).
One of the aims of the grant is to support physical distancing requirements.
TfNSW is trialling a number of new speed environments, including
30km/h environments. Councils are encouraged to contacts TfNSW to establish trial zones. https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/projects/01documents/popup-covid-19-infrastructure/nsw-street-treatments-for-covid-recovery.pdf
Wollongong wants to become a cycle-friendly city and is considering low speed mixed traffic streets.
The Lord Mayor’s message for the Draft Wollongong Cycling Strategy 2030 reads: “Right now, there is an increased focus on active transport that is being driven by both a need to respond to climate change as well as the current health crisis. The Coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic has seen a dramatic increase in awareness of, and use of, existing shared pathway infrastructure and the importance of outdoor exercise. The social and physical distancing requirements increased the appeal of cycling over the limited public transport options for school and work travel. Riding and walking provided a respite from home isolation, an alternative to closed gyms and was embraced by those who had more free time as they were, sadly, not working. At the same time, this Strategy supports Council’s response to climate change and the imperative we find alternatives to the private car, especially for short trips to work, school and around local neighbourhoods.”
One of possible actions in the strategy reads:
- Formalising low-speed, low-vehicle traffic, low-cost mixed-traffic routes and cycling streets