The Commissioner for Transport has informed Council of his decision on the speed limit reduction proposal on Roslyn Avenue (north).
Council had submitted a proposal for the reduction of the speed limit, along with the survey results asking the community if they supported a reduction, and an external assessment.
The Commissioner has thoroughly considered the submission and the survey results and has not supported the reduction of the speed limit on the northern section. The points he raised with the letter are summarised below:
- The speed limit on Roslyn Avenue (northern section) has been a contentious issue and is a concern for local residents.
- Speed limits in Tasmania are set in line with the Australian Standards and that they need to achieve a reasonable balance between road safety and local amenity concerns on one hand, and traffic mobility expectations on the other. In order to be effective, speed limits need to be realistic and credible.
- Roslyn Avenue is an urban distributor road which carries around 6,500 vehicles per day. Across Tasmania, many urban distributor roads have 60 km/h speed limits. Roslyn Avenue is subject to a 50 km/h speed limit and this lower limit makes it easier for residents to turn into or out of their driveways and reduces the risk of accidents.
- The use of 40km/h speed limits on busy urban roads is quite restricted. They have been used along short sections of road where there are high levels of pedestrian activity. For example, 40 km/h speed limits have been applied to a 440 metre long section of Main Road through the Moonah shopping zone and to a 370 metre long section of Elizabeth Street through the North Hobart restaurant zone. The level of pedestrian activity on the 1,500 metre long section of Roslyn Avenue between Beach Road and Jindabyne Road is comparatively low and does not justify a speed limit reduction.
- A lower speed limit would not be supported by the Australian Standards. Experience has shown that arbitrarily low speed limits attract poor levels of compliance, even when subject to regular enforcement.
Council will be carrying out the below actions to encourage traffic calming on the road:
- We will liaise with the Department of State Growth to arrange for modifications to the existing directional signage at the Roslyn Avenue/Algona Road roundabout to encourage motorists south of Algona Road to travel to central Kingston via Algona Road. We will also work with them to consider a reduction in the overall cycle time of the Beach Road/Roslyn Avenue traffic lights to reduce queues on Roslyn Avenue
- Repeater speed limit signage will be installed and we will investigate road pavement markings to reinforce the current speed limit.
- We will carry out annual traffic counts at two locations on Roslyn Avenue for a two year period to review if the measures are effective.
- We will also complete any necessary footpath repairs within our current maintenance budget.
The submission by Council was supported by the results of the survey, which was available online and also as a printed copy. The survey summary results are below:
- 1107 Respondents completed the survey
- 531 respondents completed the survey online
- 91 respondents completed the printed survey
- 485 respondents completed a photocopied printed survey.
Survey promotion and distribution
- The survey was promoted via local media, social media, and a road side electronic signage board on Roslyn Avenue.
- Online surveys were limited to one survey response per IP address.
- Printed surveys were mailed to residents of Roslyn Avenue (northern section) and were available upon request from Council Offices.
- Printed surveys were also photocopied by residents and distributed further.
Of the total survey responses:
- 695 respondents (63%) supported the reduction in the speed limit.
- 412 respondents (37%) did not support a reduction in the speed limit.
There was a contrast in support or non-support depending on the survey format:
- Responses received by hard copy had a higher percentage of supporting the reduction.
- Online respondents had a higher percentage of not supporting the reduction.
- 75% of the online survey respondents did not support the proposal to reduce the speed limit.
- A high percentage (96%) of online respondents provided additional comments and reasoning for their vote.
Printed and photocopy results
- 97% of the printed and photocopy survey respondents supported the proposal to reduce the speed limit.
- A high percentage (90%) of photocopy respondents provided no additional comments or reasoning for their vote.
- Of 226 respondents who stated they lived along the northern section of Roslyn Avenue, 187 supported the speed limit reduction.
- Of 654 respondents who stated they lived in surrounding suburbs:
- 318 did not support the speed limit reduction.
- 336 supported the speed limit reduction.
Comment from respondents who did support the reduction
A summary of themes that were repeatedly mentioned in comment fields supporting the speed limit reduction:
- Limited visibility and sight distances
- Narrow road
- Busy road
- Road noise
- Cycling and pedestrian safety
- Rarely go above 40 km/h on the road anyway
- Driveway access
- Excessive speeding
Comments from respondents who did not support the speed reduction
A summary of themes that were repeatedly mentioned in comment fields not supporting the speed limit reduction:
- Speed limit reduction not necessary
- Speed limit reduction will increase congestion
- It’s a main thoroughfare / arterial road
- Not dangerous
- 50km/h is a reasonable speed, 40km/h too slow
- No problems with current speed
- Will congest surrounding streets more
- People who speed will speed regardless
- More speed limit enforcement will improve outcomes
- Not a high accident area
- Traffic volume the issue, not speed
- Will impact lots of road users negatively because of a few vocal residents
- No evidence that supports a speed reduction
- Growing residential area