Slower speeds a win for community life
Bicycle Queensland has commended Brisbane City Council for making Brisbane safer for people who walk and ride, following the decision to lower speed limits around dozens of suburban shopping and dining precincts in Brisbane to 40km/h.
The measure will be introduced this year, with retail precincts at Sunnybank and Stones Corner among the first areas to benefit.
Bicycle Queensland CEO Anne Savage said the step was a game changer for Queensland and Australia.
“Lower speed limits save lives – we applaud this commitment to protecting community safety,” she said.
“Lord Mayor Graham Quirk has just raised the national benchmark in community road safety and inspired the rest of the country to follow our lead.
“This lifesaving move will further reinforce Brisbane’s reputation as one of the world’s most liveable cities, inspiring urban culture and the small business economy by creating a much nicer community in which to live, walk, and ride.
“In particular, I commend the tireless efforts of Deputy Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Chair of Brisbane City Council’s Infrastructure Committee, Cr Amanda Cooper, who have recognised well ahead of other local governments in Australia that safe streets build stronger communities and a powerful urban economy.”
The progressive move is likely to be implemented around some of Queensland’s largest shopping centres, including Indooroopilly and Chermside, and follows a decision earlier this week to lower the speed limit on Ann St in the CBD from 60km/h to 40km/h.
Unlike 40km/h school zones that only operate during certain hours on school days, the council’s new shopping centre slow zones will be in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Importantly, the zones will be prioritised in areas where signalised pedestrian crossings are not feasible, or where high safety risks exist,” Ms Savage said.
“I urge the State Government to step up and work with the council to approve these changes as quickly as possible to make Brisbane move safe for people who walk and ride.
“We’d love to see a much greater investment from the State Government towards council bikeway and safety projects statewide, under a more cooperative framework for community engagement and project delivery.
“This nation-leading council initiative is more than just an investment in safety, it will provide a massive boost for community social life and culture in our suburbs,” she said.
Lord Mayor Quirk is expected to announce today that the 40km/h zones will be introduced in areas identified as pedestrian risk hotspots. The first zones will be rolled out in shopping precincts on Oxley Rd, Corinda ; Old Cleveland Rd, Stones Corner; and Sunnybank. The council is expected to announce dozens of further sites.
“We look forward to working collaboratively with council to assist with the development of high visibility and friendly signage and road markings,” Ms Savage said.
“Slower speeds save lives and support healthy communities – this is a major milestone for Queensland and Australia.”
Bicycle Queensland analysis of road crash data has proven that a 10km/h reduction in the speed limit in Brisbane CBD in 2009 reduced the average crash cost in car crashes involving a cyclist by $30,000 per crash, from about $250k to $220k – lowering the number of fatalities and serious injuries over a five-year period.