City of Yarra has decided to lower speed limits in the residential area bounded by Alexandra Parade, Hoddle Street, Johnston Street and Nicholson Street. Yarra City Council is aiming to create safer streets for all road users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians.

The council’s decision was sparked by calls from concerned residents who have asked for more traffic management to cope with drivers using side streets to avoid traffic.

The new speeds will drop to 30 kilometres per hour (from the current 40 kilometres per hour). Main roads such as Smith Street and Brunswick Street will be excluded due to their higher traffic volumes and public transport services.

The council has committed $25,000 to the 12-month trial that will begin in 2018. The full trial is expected to cost $170,000. Yarra Council will seek additional funding from Vic Roads and TAC.

Monash University will monitor data from the trial assessing traffic volume and speed, travel times, the number of cyclists and pedestrians using the roads, and crash statistics before and during the trial.

New signs will be installed during the trial at each entry point to the nominated streets. An “End 30” area sign will also be installed to alert motorists leaving the trial area.

Maribyrnong City council has backed the City of Yarra’s decision by proposing to also introduce a 30 kilometres per hour speed limit around Footscray’s CBD as well as school zones in the area.

Bicycle Network also strongly supports the new trial after calling for lower speed limits in central and inner Melbourne, as part of its Low Speed Locals campaign.

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