Cycling Advocates' Network supports the Council's proposal to improve pedestrian, cyclist and motorist safety in Wellington suburbs by lowering speed limits.
We would like the Council to consider the following points.
1. Lower speeds reduce both the likelihood and severity of crashes.
2. Cycling Advocates' Network runs Being Cycle Aware workshops with Wellington region bus and truck drivers (http://can.org.nz/being-cycle-aware) It is a half-day facilitated road safety workshop, which gives participants an understanding of the issues that people cycling face every day. It also gives cyclists an understanding of issues facing bus and truck drivers. We found that bus driving is a demanding occupation. Lower speeds reduce the workload demands on the driver and thus reduce the likelihood of crashes.
3. Good urban design works. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can have visual cues that a main bus route is crossing a pedestrian area. Safer speed limits often need accompanying physical works.
4. It's a vote winner. Once speed has been reduced, it's hard to find anyone living in a 30 km/h area who wants it back at 50.
5. We note that previous proposals had support from NZ Bus, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Police, ACC and NZ Transport Agency.
6. Support from NZTA: 20 km/h when passing a stationary school bus
This suggests that 20 km/h is a good idea anywhere with lots of stopping buses and pedestrians - especially where some of those buses carry schoolchildren.
7. Overseas experience shows that a lower speed limit also benefits drivers. From 20 is Plenty (UK campaign for safer speeds) http://www.20splentyforus.org.uk/
Far from being anti-motorist, slower limits give drivers many advantages. That's why 72% of drivers believe 20's Plenty on residential streets. Note this refers to 20 mph, but these points still apply.
8. Drivers save money, and are healthier when authorities adopt community-wide default slower limits without humps. Average trips take less than 40 seconds extra. Driver benefits include:
8.1 Fewer injured car users. Overall there were 22% fewer casualties in Portsmouth: drivers had 23% fewer and passengers 31% fewer. Elderly drivers had 50% fewer injuries and 40% fewer injured passengers.
8.2 Fuel use, CO2 and costs fall 12%.
8.3 Less Congestion. At lower speeds more cars occupy the same road space due shorter gaps between them, easing traffic ‘flow'. Junctions are more efficient as drivers can merge into shorter gaps. Less risk encourages sustainable travel and public transport.
8.4 Easier parking. Fewer unnecessary car trips frees up road space and parking.
8.5 Cleaner air quality especially benefits motorists. They breathe in-car air which is three times more polluted than at the pavement. Standing traffic, which produces unnecessary fumes, reduces as traffic flow becomes smoother. Less fuel is burnt due to less acceleration and the transfer of some trips away from cars towards walking, cycling and public transport.
8.6 Motoring costs drop. As crashes fall in severity and frequency, so do legal and repair bills.
8.7 Repair bills fall. Vehicles maintain value from fewer crashes, less brake and tyre wear.
8.8 Stress reduces as drivers have more time to see and react to hazards. Fewer road rage incidents occur due to more considerate driving styles, including less dangerous overtaking and it is easier to pull out.
8.9 Less parents' taxi duty. Road danger reduction brings safer independent child travel, improves their life skills, and frees up parents for more productive activities than driving.
8.10 Society benefits. Fewer road victims frees up facilities for other health needs. Fewer work days are lost. Active travel cuts obesity and heart disease. Inequalities reduce as less children die. Fewer potholes. Quality of life rises.
We would appreciate an opportunity to present this submission.
CAN - Cycling Advocates Network
Tel 04-210-4967, skype: patrick.morgan.can twitter: @patrickmorgan @CyclingANZ
PO Box 25-424, 2 Forresters Lane, opposite Tory St Bunnings, Wellington
Join us: http://can.org.nz/ Find us on Facebook More people on bikes, more often