Nelson’s CBD and a host of the city’s streets could soon have the speed limit reduced to 30kmh or lower, depending on how the changes are received by the public.
Nelson City Council voted during Thursday’s infrastructure committee meeting to put a proposal to lower the speed limits of the CBD inside the four ringroads, and 36 residential streets, out for public consultation.
They also agreed to include reducing Selwyn Place to 40kmh, pending further data gathering, despite it not being initially included in the proposal.
The 36 streets, named by council as ‘home zones’, include Stanley and Fifeshire Crescents, both popular routes for peak time traffic ‘rat-runners’ and Monaco’s Point Rd.
Council’s manager transport and solid waste, Margaret Parfitt, says the 36 streets were considered appropriate for a speed limit reduction because they lack a footpath on either side of the road.
She acknowledged there were other streets that hadn’t been considered because they didn’t meet the criteria but says a city-wide speed management plan is set to be introduced next year.
The proposed changes were seen to be “quick wins” under the current Speed Limit Bylaw that could be implemented as soon as October, following public consultation.
The speed limit within the city’s ring roads was reduced to 30kmh during lockdown due to social distancing rules, but had to be restored back to 50kmh following the country’s move back to Level 1.
Ministry of Transport data presented to council during the meeting showed that in the five years from 2015, there had been 60 police reported crashes on the streets inside the cities ring roads.
Of these, three resulted in serious injury, 13 in minor injury and 44 reported no injuries.
Nine of the crashes involved pedestrians, including one serious injury, and seven involved cyclists.
While speed was not the cause of any of these crashes, speed could be a factor in the outcome.
The data also showed the risk of serious injury or death for pedestrians hit by cars increased by more than 30 per cent between 30kmh and 50kmh.
“The main thing I want you to understand is, although our crash history doesn’t necessarily show speed as a cause of many crashes, the outcome of crashes is certainly determined by the speed involved,” Margaret told the committee.
Consultation will open to the public on 13 July.
Streets that are proposed to have their speed limit dropped
Arrow Street extension.
Cleveland Terrace (from Manuka Street to Atmore including Mayroyd Terrace)
Fountain Place (10-24)
Hampden Street West (from Wigzell Park to walkway)
Mt Pleasant Ave
Omaio Village (Railway Reserve)
Point Road (Monaco)
Queens Road (106-130)