Speed limits in Wellington

January 17th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Katie Chapman at Stuff reports:

A central-city slowdown is looming for Wellington motorists as a 30kmh is considered for a further 64 streets.

Public feedback will be sought next month on a proposal to extend the 30kmh speed limit from the Golden Mile to the rest of the central business district, where the limit is now 50kmh.

The change would cost about $250,000, and include parts of The Terrace and Taranaki, Tory, Willis, Featherston, Ghuznee and Dixon streets. The harbour quays and Vivian St would not be included.

I’m not necessarily opposed to this.

I consistently say speed limits should reflect conditions. Some roads are safe to drive at 120 km/hr on, some open roads should not be driven at over 70 km/hr (such as to Makara), and within a city some roads are safe at 70 km/hr and some at 30 km/hr.

Wellington is a very compact city and with lots of pedestrians. Major access roads such as the harbour quays should have higher speed limits, but many of the short roads should not.

In the end decisions on speed limits should be based on data such as how many accidents occur on them, the length and straightness of the road, pedestrian use, and actual speeds traveled at the moment.

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34 Responses to “Speed limits in Wellington”

  1. RRM (9,915 comments) says:

    Well I’d support that, and I’m naturally a pretty “fast” driver.

    (Never had a ticket, but always drive as quickly as conditions and the law permit, usually catch up to and overtake most other traffic on the open road.)

    The south end of Featherston Street is just nuts… arab taxi drivers, people double-parking, people who can’t parallel park but trying anyway, pedestrians who can’t wait their turn, pissed-up lunch people rolling out of the 3 pubs… it’s pretty rarely you strike conditions down there where 50km/h is even possible, let alone feels safe. It’s just not a good place to try to drive fast.

    But seriously… how could it POSSIBLY cost $250,000 to install a couple of dozen speed limit signs? That’s a pisstake, surely.

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  2. dave_c_ (219 comments) says:

    If they ever roll this out (and I dont agree that it is necessary), they need to make a better job of communicating change than the latest “Speed reducer” I’ve just seen – I’ve noticed ‘green bands’ with picture of cyclists across the entire left lane at major intersections – No indication of what this means – Me thinks that it is an under the covers attempt to slow traffic, by allowing cyclists to go to the front of the queue – ergo slowing the traffic moving off from the intersection on the green light !

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  3. dime (9,970 comments) says:

    this speed reduction will help speed up the death of this crap city

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  4. Odakyu-sen (637 comments) says:

    As long as the police give out tickets for going too fast for the conditions, rather than simply going faster than the area-wide limit, then I don’t have a problem with the new Wellington speed limits from my position north of the Bombay Hills.

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  5. Manolo (13,734 comments) says:

    The Luddite Mayor on a crusade against cars in the CBD?

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  6. dave_c_ (219 comments) says:

    “In the end decisions on speed limits should be based on data such as how many accidents occur on them”

    God forbid – wasnt this the mantra being used for introduction of speed cameras. !

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  7. 2boyz (262 comments) says:

    Andy Fosters is driving (ha-ha) this one, sure CWB is happy with this approach.

    yeah those green bands are popping up everywhere, yet I haven’t seen a large increase in cyclists as yet (guess the bikes are in storage waiting to be released to the citizens of Wellington).

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  8. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    When the speed limit gets permanently reduced to 4km/hr over you will get tickets for doing 35 km/hr. Most speedos can barely delineate that accurately.

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  9. dave_c_ (219 comments) says:

    2boyz – lol – I guess it’ll be CWBoris J bikes littering the streets – what a pretender she is !

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  10. redqueen (562 comments) says:

    The point is, Wellington, and other councils and government, never propose increasing speed limits, only decreasing them. There is a perpetual crusade, as roads and cars become safer, to ‘reduce speed’. This is just another socialist anti-driving action and the introduction of 30km/h speed limits, along with drinking bans, and ever more anti-liberty nonsense, were significant contributors for moving out of Wellington.

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  11. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    @redqueen

    “This is just another socialist anti-driving action”

    ———————–

    Hamburg intends to ban all cars from its CBD by 2034.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11187515

    I don’t think it makes sense to describe Germany as socialist. It’s the largest and most prosperous economy in Western Europe.

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  12. alwyn (424 comments) says:

    Does anyone remember any of the candidates in the local elections campaigning on this proposal?
    I certainly don’t. I presume therefore, if my memory is accurate and they didn’t do so they will have to follow their self imposed ethic that they didn’t campaign on it and therefore don’t have a mandate to introduce it.
    I am actually quite happy with the idea of a 40kph limit in the area proposed. I think that 30 is to low and if enforced simply falls into the category of money raising rather than safety.
    On the other hand I suspect the choice of 30 is so that the fastest vehicles on the road will be bicycles, ridden by the loony Greens.

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  13. backster (2,171 comments) says:

    It seems like a simple speed trap initiative to me, very little to do with safety. As Alwyn says councillors should campaign on such ‘green’ policies before proposing them.

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  14. RRM (9,915 comments) says:

    LOL – I can’t see the cops setting up a speed trap in any of the streets named…

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  15. OTGO (548 comments) says:

    This sort of shit really bugs me. The world is getting faster in every aspect due to technology advancing and these idiots want to slow everything down. From the internet to airline travel. It’s all about increasing the speed of getting things done. Not for motorcars though. The whole “speed kills” mantra is just bollocks. Everyone knows it’s the stop at the end that does the damage. If you are a pedestrian or a cyclist get off the road. Roads are for motor vehicles because they pay for them. Socialists hate cars because of the independence it gives to the motorist. In their perfect world everyone would be on public transport going where “they” want you to go.

    I have said many times that governments should not own roads. They are not built in the interests of the user. If they were we would be driving to an open speed limit on a 4 lane separated road.

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  16. Kea (12,770 comments) says:

    It is an absurd idea to slow down traffic so that people can wander mindlessly all over the road like lost sheep, or to allow cyclists to play on the road in their silly costumes. Roads are vitally important to our economy and must flow freely and quickly.

    Here is an alternative:

    1. Pedestrians walk on the footpath.

    2. Cars drive on the road.

    3. Cyclists are banned from the city.

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  17. Ashley Schaeffer (486 comments) says:

    So when the pedestrian traffic dies down in the evening, you’re stuck doing 30kph when 50kph would be fine. Why not just leave it at 50kph and let the cops focus on dealing with people who aren’t driving to the conditions. This proposal wouldn’t cost anything.

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  18. RRM (9,915 comments) says:

    OTGO –

    Have you been on any of the streets named in this story lately?

    There’s no “they” making them any wider, straighter or faster ;-)

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  19. unaha-closp (1,164 comments) says:

    Banning pedestrians from using mobile phones whilst crossing the street would likely be more effective.

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  20. redqueen (562 comments) says:

    @gump

    First, that Hamburg is doing something doesn’t detract from the motives of Wellington Council. Venice doesn’t have many cars either…but that doesn’t make their council capitalist or socialist.

    Second, declaring that the Germans aren’t socialists is very brave…hardworking, perhaps, but Germany has a high degree of socialist penetration. I mean, they have workers representation on corporate boards and are usually happy to see European ‘integration’ ever expanded…the only ‘unsocialist’ thing I can think of, when the Germans are involved, is subsidising the Southern Europeans.

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  21. dog_eat_dog (780 comments) says:

    So I guess bikes in Wellington will be required to have speedos now that there is a high chance of one of them exceeding the speed limit?

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  22. OTGO (548 comments) says:

    RRM – Nope haven’t been on the mean streets of our capital city for some time. Haven’t missed it a bit. I might have been thinking about highways in general rather than downtown.

    But since you’ve asked in my world streets/roads/motorways would be owned by the car companies not governments. They would build them to a standard that allows their products to be driven to their full potential. Next time you are doing 100k have a look at your tachometer. Be lucky if it is showing 2000 rpm. Increase that to 3000 rpm and now we’re talking.

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  23. Kea (12,770 comments) says:

    gump, Germany has roads with no speed limit. Why not use that as your example ?

    I did not notice any people wandering aimlessly across the autobahn or lycra clad road lice holding up traffic and crashing into cars either.

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  24. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    Excellent. Let’s make laws against everything that isn’t a good idea. Running with scissors can hurt you. Let’s make that illegal. And push up the penalties for jay walking, that’s pretty dangerous too.

    Otherwise known as – we already have perfectly good laws that make it illegal to drive too fast for the conditions. Pushing down the speed limits in these areas isn’t necessary – nobody can drive at 50 anyway. And if they can…..then at that time of day and in those traffic conditions, it’s probably safe to do so.

    And definitely don’t reduce the limit on the road to Makara, and don’t look at number of accidents as an indicator of needing to lower the speed limit. Many of the accidents are by people ignoring the speed limit, lowering the limit just makes life hard for those who are law abiding, whilst doing nothing for the remainder.

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  25. Matt L (6 comments) says:

    DPF while I understand the desire to use data to determine speeds/steets, it doesn’t always work as often there are negative feedback loops at play e.g. speed limits are too high and there’s not good enough pedestrian priority so people don’t walk and traffic travels faster. When you get the data it suggests that nothing should be done as people aren’t walking there so it continues or gets worse.

    What I’m saying is that sometimes it needs a bit of vision of how the street should be. A good example is Fort St in Auckland which based on data would never have been upgraded. Instead the council did upgrade it to a shared space, traffic volumes and speeds decreased and pedestrian movements increased. Along with it retail sales surged with hospitality sales increasing by 400%.

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  26. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    They should ban traffic from the central city entirely. Like Brisbane.

    Start with those infernal buses.

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  27. gump (1,647 comments) says:

    @Kea

    “Germany has roads with no speed limit. Why not use that as your example ?”

    ———–

    Do those roads travel through Hamburg’s CBD?

    (and just so you’re aware, the German autobahn system actually is speed limited – it just has a much higher limit than our motorways).

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  28. Steve (North Shore) (4,559 comments) says:

    Why not build tunnels? The brain dead pedestrians looking at the cellphone as they walk, and the road lice ignoring everything except themselves can use the tunnels, and the vehicles can use the road for what is was designed for – vehicles.

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  29. nasska (11,464 comments) says:

    50kph today, 30kph tomorrow…..what will it be in a couple of years time?

    The British requirement for a man with a red flag to walk in front of a vehicle was withdrawn in 1896 when the speed limit for a motor vehicle was raised to 22kph.

    Celia may be aiming to recreate history.

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  30. RF (1,395 comments) says:

    The Luddite mayor is quite content to slow the traffic down to a crawl so she can ride her Fucken bike in front. Gawd help us.

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  31. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    I am totally opposed to this nonsense. Drivers have a legal obligation to drive to the prevailing condtions and retaining the current limit does not absolve them of that responsibility.

    It is simply another example of a ‘one size fits all’, nanny state type thinking, with left-minded busybodies reinforcing their ill conceived views that people are unable to take responsibility for their own lives; their actions and the consequences.

    Imagine – Featherston St 30km/hr at 8:30am on a Sunday morning (not to mention, as another example, 3-8am on any day of the week.). Absolutely ludicrous.

    Might as well legislate what people can and can’t eat while you’re at it – maybe through regulation such as a sugar tax? Based on the principle of individual responsibility, the logic is the same.

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  32. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Wellington City has no need for a pedestrian-only centre. It has neither the pedestrian nor vehicle density to make it either necessary, or worthwhile,

    Imagine the city centre devoid of vehicles – it would be as vacant as the minds of its proponents.

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  33. MT_Tinman (3,183 comments) says:

    Bohmte, Drachten!

    What a pity Wellington communists must tell people what to do instead of demanding they think what to do.

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  34. hane (69 comments) says:

    Enjoying the delusions of the right wing suburban loser fantasists on this thread. Be sure to wave hi next time you slow down from 30km/h to a full stop to let me cross the road in central Wellington (Yes, jaywalking is legal in NZ!)

    Softcocks need to read the fucking road code.

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