NEW speed limits on CBD streets will come into effect on Sunday as council ramps up works to increase pedestrian safety.
Council confirmed earlier this year that the speed limit on several non-arterial CBD streets would be reduced to 40 kilometres pan hour as part of a $1 million program, which also included the reconfiguration of several roundabouts.
City of Greater Bendigo engineering manager Brett Martini said roundabout works have involved tightening up intersections to force a reduction in speed.
Works are almost completed at the intersection of Queen and Edward streets, the first of four roundabouts to be reconfigured.
Roundabouts at Hargreaves and Edward streets, Hargreaves and Mundy streets and the intersection of Mundy and Hopetoun streets and Lyttleton Terrace will also be improved, while View Street will be home to a new pedestrian crossing.
“(These changes will) provide pedestrian priority through pedestrian crossings at each leg on those roundabouts, which is similar to the roundabouts that we have in Williamson Street already,” Mr Martini said.
“People will notice more than anything that the pedestrian crossings will be on each of those four roundabouts.”
Mr Martini said that despite the changes, many road users won’t notice a difference from their normal CBD passage.
“From the traffic study that we’ve done, the average vehicle speed in many of those streets in the CBD is already only about 40km/h anyway so most people will continue to go about their business as usual,” he said.
“Over time as we do those works people just need to be aware that at those roundabouts, and the pedestrian crossing in View Street, pedestrians will have priority at those particular locations, and need to drive according to those new conditions.”
Mr Martini said there had been mixed feedback towards the changes – primarily concerning speed and impacts on travel times throughout the CBD.
He reiterated speed conditions were not being altered on speed conditions, and similar travel times were already being experienced.
“They are principally there to provide some access, but there’s a lot of parking movements, there’s a lot of pedestrian movements, which already bring the speed down, and we’re just keen to make sure that we can make that environment as safe as possible,” Mr Martini said.
The TAC’s Safe System Road Infrastructure Program are funding the works.
– Sam Kane