Cyclists push for a 30km/h speed limit to be introduced in an Australian CBD so they can cycle more safely
- Pedal Power ACT wants CBD speed limits lowered
- It advised 30 mph in city centers
A new campaign by a cyclist lobby group is calling for the speed limit to be lowered to just 30 km/h in some streets to improve cyclist safety.
Pedal Power ACT called for speed limits in Canberra’s CBD to be lowered to 30km/h in a submission ahead of the ACT budget.
While the focus of the entry was to advocate for improved cycling infrastructure, the recommendation to lower the speed limit has outraged locals.
In its recommendations, Pedal Power ACT called on the government to: ‘Reduce speeds to 30 km/h and ensure that streets and intersections are redesigned with physical barriers to prevent motorists from speeding.’
It described transport in the capital as a ‘rat race’ and noted that reduced speed limits for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians have been successfully enforced in European cities.
Pedal Power ACT has called for the speed limit in Canberra’s CBD to be lowered to 30km/h to improve cyclist safety
Pedal Power said transport in Canberra has become a “rat race” and called for a “culture change” that would see cars become “the ‘guests’ among the people”.
“Low traffic neighborhoods are working successfully in England by slowing streets down to 30km/h, using physical barriers such as flower boxes and filtering measures to give priority to people walking and cycling, making car use more difficult but still possible,” it said.
The entry was widely shared across local social media pages and sparked anger from residents who dismissed the group as “righteous and arrogant.”
‘Since when are they more precious than our children? Schools get a 40 km/h zone, but right Pedal Power wants it their way. What a joke!” one furious mother wrote.
‘If you are too nervous a cyclist to ride on roads that are 40-50 km/h zones, use the special off-road cycle paths. You have options, plan accordingly,” said another.
“If the traffic is dangerous for the cyclists, they may want to consider using bike lanes instead of impeding motorists traveling at 60 km/h,” wrote another.
‘Canberra has an excellent network of over 1,000 km of shared paths and 2,500 km of footpaths funded by ACT taxpayers. Cyclists should use these specially built paths and not the roads,” said another.
In a previous entry, Pedal Power ACT explained that opposition to lower speed limits is rooted in Canberran motorists being ‘accustomed’ to motorways.
“A significant cultural change is needed for people to accept that city and village centers are places for people rather than cars, and where cars are the ‘guests’ among people,” it said.
“The era of inner Civic streets provided solely for the smooth passage of fast-moving motor vehicles is over.”
Pedal Power ACT found that the CBD was where most bicycle/vehicle accidents in Canberra occurred (Photo: A heatmap of bicycle/vehicle accidents in Canberra)
Pedal Power said its stance on speed is supported by data showing that most bicycle and vehicle accidents occur in the CBD area.
Some locals agreed with Pedal Power, saying they would like to slow down if it made the roads safer.
“This would be great. Residential streets and high pedestrian areas should be slower, especially since so many suburbs lack pedestrian walkways,” one person wrote.
‘If ‘city centre’ means the high storefronts, then please. But other than that it’s just a road designed for cars,” said another.