Orange City Council has asked the community what it thinks about whether the Central Business District (CBD) should have a 40km/h speed limit.
STORY UPDATED 16 DECEMBER:
The proposal would reduce the speed limit from 50km/h to 40 km/h in the ‘inner’ blocks of the CBD, from Hill Street to Peisley Street and Byng Street to Kite Street.
At its 15 December meeting the Council decided to ask the NSW Government’s Transport for NSW to consider lowering the speed limit within the CBD (Hill to Peisley Streets, Byng to Kite Streets.)
The reduction of the speed limit to 40km/h is an integral part of the Future City plan and it is recommended that Council ask TfNSW to consider lowering the speed limit within the CBD to 40km/h.
Of the more than 1100 people who visited the YourSay Orange site during an online community consultation, 20 per cent (198 people) participated in completing the survey or leaving a comment. 54 per cent of survey respondents opposed the change, 40 per cent supported the change and six per cent were unsure.
Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the proposed change would contribute to the overall vision to make the CBD more walkable.
“Council is very interested to hear from all sections of the community, from pedestrians, to cyclists, to business owners, people with disabilities and of course, drivers,” Cr Kidd said.
“It is important to note, TfNSW regulate speed limits in NSW for all roads therefore Council cannot change the speed limit. That final decision is up to Transport for NSW.”
Cr Kidd said Council had sought the support of the Orange Business Chamber for the proposed speed reduction review.
City of Orange Traffic Committee Chair Cr Russell Turner said the committee had reviewed crash data for the area and current actual speeds motorists travel through the CBD.
“Between 2014 and 2019, there were 20 crashes involving pedestrians in the city,” Cr Turner said.
“Of those crashes, 9 resulted in a serious injury, two people died.
“19 of those crashes were in a 50 km/zone and one was in a 40 km/h zone and that person had a minor injury.
“Studies show when reducing the speed of vehicles from 50km/h to 40km/h in a pedestrian and motor vehicle crash, the risk of having a pedestrian death is reduced from 60 per cent to 25 per cent.”
The proposal is part of Council’s Future City plans, which aims to make the CBD more walkable, it aims to attract more people to the CBD and increase the number of people living and working in the CBD.
Other ways to achieve a more walkable CBD are also being considered such as, scramble crossings, more cycle paths and footpaths and better lighting.
Data from the Orange CBD shows the actual average speeds cars travel in the CBD is rarely close to 50 km/h, however it is often above 40 km/h.
For example, 85 per cent of vehicles travelling westbound on Summer Street, from Sale Street to Anson Street average 44.3km/h.
In the other direction, the average speed is 47.2 km/h. The highest average speed in the CBD occurs on Sale Street, from Summer Street to Byng Street where motorists average 47.5 km/h.
Vehicles travelling along Summer Street from Hill Street to Peisley Street under a 40 km/h speed limit, would, on average, take an extra 7.87 seconds to complete the journey.