Proposed 40km/h speed limit in residential streets of Norwood and Kent Town – our view

The committee of the Norwood Residents Association supports the move to a 40kmh speed limit on our residential streets. 

We quite frequently hear complaints about traffic in our streets, including people driving at inappropriate speeds and “rat runners” avoiding traffic lights.  We believe that reducing the speed limit will help to discourage this. 

We are aware that slower speeds provide a safer environment for ourselves and our pets; that the chance of being killed when hit by a car drops dramatically between the speeds of 50 and 30 kmh.  A 40kmh speed limit will also give a better chance for drivers to pull up before making impact.

We also understand that cars are quieter at slower speeds, especially if they are not accelerating quickly in an attempt to reach 50kmh.  Altogether, slower speeds will provide a more pleasant street environment for our members, encouraging more walking and interaction between neighbours.

The time imposition of a slower speed will not be significant for residents.  The street layout of Norwood is such that residents rarely drive more than a kilometre before reaching the arterial road network. 

The theoretical maximum time saving in travelling one kilometre at 50kmh rather than 40kmh is 18 seconds.  However, with time taken to accelerate and decelerate, as well as slowing for any corners, roundabouts, other traffic and traffic calming measures, the actual time savings are going to be much less than this.  Indeed, a series of 650 metre time trials undertaken at night when there was no other traffic from one committee member’s home to the nearest 60kmh arterial road found a time saving of only one second!

We accept that some of our members resist change and want to maintain a higher speed limit.  But, noting that no suburb that has moved to 40kmh has ever gone back, and that a Stepney Maylands ward councillor who had opposed 40kmh later took credit for its introduction, the committee is confident that members will not want to go back to a higher speed limit if the change occurs.

Voting closes 5pm Monday, 21 June. Click here to be taken to the voting form.

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