….. cyclists second, public transport third, delivery vehicles fourth….. and private vehicles last.
The Transport for NSW (TfNSW) Road User Space Allocation Policy sets out this hierarchy and aims to correct 70 years of urban design based on the motor vehicle. Car-first thinking has resulted in congested, unsafe and uninviting streets and serious public health problems related to inactivity and air pollution.
Motorways are great at getting you from A to B in no time (so long as it's not peak hour!) but when suburban streets and town centres are treated to prioritise fast movement of vehicles, traffic sewers develop where pedestrians and other active transport users cannot move around freely or safely.
Streets and suburbs are not just thoroughfares for increasingly large cars to pass through at greater speeds.
They are public spaces for work and play, which is why all TfNSW road projects are now subject to the Movement and Place Framework, which strives to seek a balance between movement between destinations and what communities need to thrive.
Bicycle NSW is calling on best practice in urban design, and not just minimum standards. At the top of this list, and in line with the National Road Safety Strategy for Vision Zero (road deaths) is speed reduction.
Active transport users going about their business, Inner West (source: Bicycle NSW)
30 km on local streets
In places where vehicles and pedestrians mix, we are calling for a reduction in speed to 30km to enable people to be healthy and move around safely. 30km is proven to be ideal, after which instances of road traffic deaths rise exponentially. Australian research found that road crashes are the leading cause of death in children aged 1-14 and young people aged 10 to 24 worldwide are more likely to die from traffic incidents including car, motorcycle and pedestrian collisions than any other cause.
All road users have a right to move around safely on their streets
Children, the elderly, people with disabilities- all road users have a right to move around safely on their streets which is why Bicycle NSW is campaigning for 30 km limits. Besides sacrificing a marginal amount of travel time to protect lives, motorists enjoy a reduction in fuel, exhaust and, wear and tear on their cars.
Bicycle NSW is committed to making NSW a safer place to ride and walk. We advocate for the design, infrastructure, legislation and, cultural shift needed to make our school journeys, commutes and social outings safer and more accessible for all. To become a Bicycle NSW Member join HERE.