Lower speeds allows quicker car travel time in urban areas, research shows.
Locals across Australia are being asked to join Bicycle Network’s latest campaign to introduce lower speeds in neighbourhoods where bike riders, pedestrians and drivers share the roads.
Low Speed Locals is calling on Australian bike riders and other road users to write to their local council’s Chief Executive Officer and ask for slower speed limits, or, work on streets which would slow down traffic.
Bicycle Network Chief Executive Officer Craig Richards said the Low Speed Locals campaign aimed to improve the health of local communities by encouraging people to get active on streets where the traffic was slower.
Drivers need not worry about slower travel times as research shows they can make that drive to work or school quicker because traffic flow improves.**
Slower speeds, particularly in residential areas, encourage people (especially children) to ride or walk.
“Research also shows that a key reason why people stop riding locally is because they don’t feel safe on roads where traffic speeds are high,” Mr. Richards said.
“Slower speed limits and other speed reduction measures will turn hectic suburbs into vibrant and active communities where people can ride and live happy lives.”
Mr. Richards encouraged all Australians to get involved in the campaign to help reduce speed limits and get our communities active.
“With more than half of Australians not getting the 30 minutes of daily physical activity needed there are millions of people at risk of developing a chronic disease like cancer or heart disease.
“Lowering speed limits will go a long way towards encouraging more people to get active, make bike riding a habit and improve their physical and mental health.”
Supporting research for lowering speed limits (and examples) is available in the current February-March edition of Bicycle Network’s Ride On magazine or online: http://rideons.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/liveable-speeds/
Resources and supporting research:
**The Impact of Lowered Speed Limits in Urban and Metropolitan Areas – Version 5.0 – Archer J, Fotheringham M, Symmons M and Corben B – Monash Accident Research Centre, 2008. http://www.monash.edu.au/miri/research/reports/muarc276.pdf
Safe speed: promoting safe walking and cycling be reducing traffic speed – Garrad, J. Dr. – Commissioned by the Safe Speed Interest Group – The Heart Foundation, the City of Port Phillip and the City of Yarra, 2008: https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/active-living/Documents/Safe-Speed-Evidence-Report.pdf