Speed Limits Bylaw Review
Submission to Palmerston North City Council
24 July 2013 to firstname.lastname@example.org
We seek the following decision from the Palmerston North City Council:
Set permanent 30 km/h speed limits outside schools.
Alternatively, if the national speed management plan changes, set part-time 30 km/h speed limits.
1 Thank you for the opportunity to give feedback on the Speed Limits Bylaw Review.
2 This submission has been prepared by members of the Cycling Advocates' Network (CAN).
CAN is the overarching body of the national network of cycling advocates. It is a voice for all cyclists - recreational, commuter and touring. Its membership includes nearly 1500 members with more than 2000 additional friends who are on an email network. As well as taking on board the extensive cycling experience of many of our members who are both commuting and recreational/ sporting cyclists, our submission is also based on contributions from those well versed in broader road safety policy, engineering and research.
3 CAN supports measures that will make the transport system safer for people who ride bikes.
4 The default speeds in New Zealand of 50 km/h (urban) and 100 km/h (rural) are generally too high. New Zealand speeds limits are out of line with international best practice.
5 Urban speeds should be reduced to 30 or 40 km/h. Rural speeds need to be reduced to 70
or 80 km/h (e.g. recommend a blanket reduction of the LSZ maximum speed to 80 km/h).
6 New Zealand's transport practitioners need guidance and tools to assist them in the implementation of cost-effective, unobtrusive techniques to support reduced traffic speeds on an area-wide basis.
7 We recommend changing the tolerance for motor vehicle speed limit enforcement from 10 km/h to a maximum of ten per cent of the posted speed limit
8 CAN supports the Council's proposal to improve pedestrian, cyclist and motorist safety by setting safer speed limits, and notes the need to also alter road design t send a clear message to road users abut appropriate speeds.
We would like the Council to consider the following points.
9 Lower speeds reduce both the likelihood and severity of crashes.
10 CAN runs Being Cycle Aware workshops with 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 aims to give cyclists an understanding of issues facing bus drivers. We found that bus driving is a demanding occupation, especially in the CBD. Lower speeds reduce the workload demands on the driver and thus reduce the likelihood of crashes.
11 It's a vote winner. Once speed has been reduced, it's hard to find anyone living in a 20 km/h area who wants it back at 30 or 50.
12 Support from NZTA: 20 km/h when passing a stationary school bus http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/students-parents/school-bus/speed-limit....
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.
13 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/
14 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.)
15. Driver benefits noted in the UK include:
15.1 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.
15.2 Fuel use, CO2 and costs fall 12%.
15.3 Less Congestion. At lower speeds more cars occupy the same road space due shorter gaps between them, easing traffic flow. Intersections are more efficient as drivers can merge into shorter gaps. Less risk encourages sustainable travel and public transport.
15.4 Easier parking. Fewer unnecessary car trips frees up road space and parking.
15.5 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.
15.6 Motoring costs drop. As crashes fall in severity and frequency, so do legal and repair bills.
15.7 Repair bills fall. Vehicles maintain value from fewer crashes, less brake and tyre wear.
15.8 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.
15.9 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.
15.10 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.
CAN believes there is a compelling case for safer speed limits in Palmerston North.