A 40km/h speed limit should be introduced in the CBD, a report to Orange City Council has recommended following public feedback.
The staff report to Tuesday night's meeting has called on council to ask Transport for NSW to consider lowering the speed limit from 50km/h to 40km/h in the area bounded by Byng, Kite, Peisley and Hill streets.
It includes Summer Street and the cross-streets.
Fifty four per cent of survey respondents opposed the change, 40 per cent supported the change and six per cent were unsure.Report to Orange City Council
The report said a survey of traffic in the CBD had shown vehicles would average just over 40km/h.
The Roads and Maritime Services modelling work in Orange in 2018 found an average speed in the morning of 40.8km/h while the afternoon average was 42.5km/h. The slowest morning speed of just 36km/h would be traffic heading east on Byng and Kite streets and south on Lords Place.
In the afternoon the slowest traffic would be heading north on Hill and Peisley streets at just 37km/h. The average speed on Summer Street was 45-48km/h.
A 40km/h limit is a key part of the Future City CBD revamp plans being considered by council.
Council put the plan on public exhibition in October to seek feedback.
The follow-up report said the Orange Business Chamber had backed the speed reduction to promote a more pedestrian-friendly area.
OBC president Jack Evans said lowering the speed limit would make the city 'more walkable' and reduced the risk of pedestrian fatalities in crashes.
He said the slower speeds would add only a few seconds to the time needed to cross intersections.
"It is a small sacrifice if it saves the life of a pedestrian," he said.
About 200 people commented on the speed limit proposal in a council survey. "Fifty four per cent of survey respondents opposed the change, 40 per cent supported the change and six per cent were unsure," it said.
"Those in favour of the speed reduction agreed it would create a safer and more accessible CBD," the council report said.
"Some respondents went further and suggested the CBD should be free of cars and a pedestrian-only zone with parking on the outskirts."
People opposed to it said it would slow CBD traffic. "This was considered a negative outcome," it said.
Some called for the speed limit to be raised above 50km/h while others sought to ban large trucks from the CBD.
"[Some said] pedestrians should be forced to use only traffic lights as a means to cross the road and a fence installed down the main median strip.
"There were suggestions pedestrians were at fault for accidents due to lack of attention paid to the road and oncoming traffic.
"There were opinions that a reduction in speed limit would increase frustration in drivers, perhaps contributing to more crashes."
The report said there had also been calls for the speed limits to be increased above 40km/h outside of normal business hours.
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