In a big win for pedestrians and cyclists, Manly CBD and beachfronts have become a 30kph zone.
The 'safe speed zone' which started in July, is a trial paid for by the State Government and co-ordinated by Transport for NSW. It's prompted by the increase in pedestrians and cyclists on local streets, caused by COVID-19 forcing people to work from home and avoid public transport.
Slowing cars down has been shown to reduce the likelihood and severity of accidents involving pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles. A pedestrian hit by a car travelling at 40kph has twice the chance of being killed, compared to someone hit by a car travelling at 30k. While this is obviously a desirable outcome in is own right, it's even more important in a time of Coronavirus when hospital beds are precious, particularly those in ICU. And there's no real downside, as a reduction in speed limits on city streets has been shown to have only a minimal impact on travel times.
Council Deputy Mayor Candy Bingham said she fully supports the safe speed trial. "It will make the streets so much safer for pedestrians and cyclists," Cr Bingham said. "And car travel will take 1 minute more at the most. One minute that could save a life!
"There were 92 accidents reported to police in the trial zone over the last five years, with about a third of those involving pedestrians or cyclists."
The 30kph speed zone is outlined on the map. It starts at Ashburner St and covers the entire Manly CBD, including East Esplanade and South and North Steyne. The zone finishes at West Promenade and the southern part of Whistler St, apart from an extension heading north all the way along the ocean front, and a short extension along West Esplanade.
Although Eustace St was not included in the State Government leaflets dropped in mailboxes last month, it should have been. It is part of the 30kph trial zone
The zone includes three schools - Manly Village Public School, St Mary's Primary School and Royal Far West School; but not Stella Maris College.
The trial started with new speed signs and road markings in early July. Car speeds and driver compliance will be monitored until October, with extra traffic calming measures, such as speed humps, installed at that point if needed.
Northern Beaches Council, which has a long-term focus on increasing 'active travel' trips, worked with the State Government to roll out Manly's safe speed zone. The Council has also applied for grants to construct new bikes lanes.
Candy Bingham, Deputy Mayor & Manly Ward Councillor on Northern Beaches Council. Background in marketing, public relations and community engagement. Author of five business books. Former Lady Mayoress of Sydney. Aka Candy Tymson.