Inner-city speed limit stays at 50
Motorists who manage to drive faster than 30kmh around Palmerston North's central-city streets will be able to do so without breaking the law.
The Palmerston North City Council last night signed off its Speed Limits Bylaw, which leaves the legal speed for streets inside the ring road at 50kmh.
It had earlier proposed the lower speed restriction, but was convinced by the majority of public submissions to leave things as they were.
Cr Chris Teo-Sherrell, who led the drive to slow vehicles down, had one last crack at rewriting the bylaw to impose a 30kmh limit on a smaller group of streets between King , Cuba and Church street.
But his attempt lapsed for lack of a seconder.
He was away at a traffic safety conference when the community wellbeing committee threw out the 30kmh proposal earlier this month.
He said fellow delegates at that conference could not believe that Palmerston North would not take the single most important step to improve safety, which was to lower speeds.
The collective risk created by many people driving just a little too fast was high, he said, and just a 5 per cent drop in average speeds could lead to a 10 per cent drop in all types of accidents.
Despite majority opposition to reducing the legal speed limit, many councillors said they did want to see changes around city streets, where necessary, to encourage people to slow down.
They have recommended the next council consider setting aside a budget when it reviews the Long Term Plan for the next three years to allow appropriate roadworks to be carried out.
Cr Annette Nixon said whereas speed limits would come with a clutter of signs, other street treatments would fit in better with the council's urban design and central city strategies to provide a more attractive and safe environment.
The bylaw changes the speed limits on some roads around the urban edge of Palmerston North and creates 50kmh zones in Longburn and Bunnythorpe, effective from December.
It also makes provision for variable 40kmh speed zones to be created around 16 schools, to come into effect in December next year.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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