Speed limits in Wellington

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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