A Melbourne council is considering whether some of the busiest suburbs in the city will have their speed limits dropped down to 30km/h.
The plan to reduce the speed limit will be placed before the Yarra City Council in a meeting on Tuesday, which could see an area in Fitzroy and Collingwood already under a 30km/h limit expanded to cover a region about three times as large.
The proposal claims the reduced speed limit would reduce crashes and road deaths on Melbourne roads where vehicles are mostly mixed with pedestrians and cyclists.
The current 30km/h limit area, which has been kept on after being introduced as a trial in 2018, is bounded by Johnston Street, Alexandria Parade, and Nicholson and Hoddle streets.
The proposal plans to extend that area south to Victoria Parade as early as February.
Main streets such as Brunswick, Smith and Wellington would be exempt from the change and keep their 40km/h limit.
A proposal to the Yarra City Council could see 30km/h speed limits introduced to a large area across Melbourne’s Fitzroy and Collingwood as early as February (stock image)
The proposal cited a study from the Victorian Government Road Safety Partners that found that pedestrians and cyclists have a 10 per cent chance of dying from a collision with a car at 30km/h.
The same study found that the same criteria would lead to a 60 per cent chance of dying when being hit by a car going at 40km/h and 90 percent at 50km/h.
Pre-trial studies for the proposal also found collisions had halved in and serious crashes dropped by 70 per cent in the existing 30km/h zone.
A spokesperson for the Yarra City Council said the council is ‘proud to be championing safety in our community’ by reducing the speed limit.
‘There is clear evidence that slower travel speeds save lives,’ a spokesperson told the Herald Sun.
‘We want to make our streets safer for everyone to enjoy, whether you are walking, driving or cycling.
‘Along with testing the 30km/h speed limit in the City of Yarra, council is advocating to the Victoria Government to make 30km/h a standard speed limit for busy local streets.’
The proposal would increase an existing 30km/h zone (pictured, yellow) south to Victoria Parade (pictured, blue) about tripling the area with lower limits
Main streets such as Brunswick, Smith and Wellington would be exempt from the changes and would keep their 40km/h limit
The effectiveness of the extended area will be measured by Victoria Roads during its trial stage and could later judge if the lower limit has enough of an impact to allow for it to be permanently changed.
The Yarra City Council’s pre-trial study found that the change was supported by a majority of locals who lived or worked in the area, in contrast with other areas seeking to introduce the limit reduction.
The recent plan to make Queenscliff, on the Bellarine Peninsula, the country’s first completely 30km/h town was received with fury from locals.
Just under 80 per cent of locals opposed the plan, leading to a petition calling for it to be canned succeeding after receiving thousands of signatures.
The push for areas with reduced limits in urban areas has been successful worldwide in cities in New Zealand, Great Britain, the Netherlands and numerous others.
Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore suggested the city also introduce 30km/h limits across the city centre and other high-volume traffic areas.