RACV has called for Melbourne CBD to retain the current 40km/h speed zones following suggestions that the speed limit could be reduced to 30km/h and cyclists be allowed to ride on footpaths.
Dave Jones, RACV manager roads and traffic, says: “RACV believes Melbourne’s CBD should remain consistent with state-wide speed restrictions. 40km/h zones are used across the state in areas with high pedestrian activity and where workers are on roads.”
Cycling body Bicycle Network has suggested that the speed limit across the CBD, and routes that bike riders take into the city, should be cut to 30km/h and for cyclists to be allowed to use footpaths to help get more people onto bicycles.
Mr Jones says: “RACV understands the issues from the perspective of pedestrians and bicycle riders.
“Encouraging more riders on footpaths in busy pedestrian precincts is a safety concern.
“However, requiring teenagers to ride on busy suburban arterial roads is not safe either. The age limits for footpath riding certainly need to be reviewed to allow teenage children to ride in a safer location.”
Currently, children aged under 12 can ride on a footpath.
Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards says changing the law to allow footpath riding would not result in “chaos on our footpaths”, and that lower speeds create a more inviting city for bike riders and pedestrians.
He says crashes between cars and bicycles at 30km/h have an 80 per cent lower chance of death for cyclists than at 60km/h.
“We believe 30km/h is the magical speed limit.”