Saturday, 13 June 2009

How fast should Ruthven Street be?

TBUG is very concerned about the speed of road taffic here in Toowoomba.

We know, and anyone interested enough to read the evidence would know too, that the faster the road traffic goes, the more danger there is to cyclists and pedestrians.

TBUG would like to see the 60 kph zone on West Street dropped, for instance. We believe it would be safer at 50 kph, which is not an outrageously slow speed to expect motorists to drive at.

The whole of the UK manages to drive on similar roads at 30 mph, which is 'about' 50 kph, and still people get to work, still the trucks roll on delivering freight.

So, should Ruthven Street be 60 kph or 70 kph from Burstows to Nelson Street?

We say it should be 60, all the way (but, of course, the evidence tells us that Qld should abandon the 60 kph blanket speed zones and adopt a blanket 50 kph, which TBUG believes would be an inspiringly intelligent move our politicians are all to scared too make).

Why do we lobby for 60 kph?

Because TRC and MRD are putting in traffic lights at this increasingly busy intersection.

Because we all know that drivers pay scant attention to red lights in Toowoomba.

Because having an increase in speed from 60 to 70 will encourage drivers to keep accelerating as they approach a red light.... and keep on going.

Because being hit at 70 hurts more than being hit at 60, even in a car.

Because, frankly, only a complete goose would watch the State Government 'Slow down Stupid!' campaign and still think it was OK to encourage drivers to accelerate approaching a set of traffic lights.

This is what Mr. Murray Peacock thinks (on behalf of his Minister it must be said):

As you are aware the speed limit through this area was 80km/h prior to the
highway upgrade. This is due to the limited number of accesses along this
section of the highway.

The speed zones following the upgrade will be:

60km/h north of the entrances to Burstow's Funeral Chapel and the

70km/h from the entrances to Burstow's Funeral Chapel and the
Crematorium (350 metres north of the Ruthven/Nelson Street
intersection) to 400 metres south of the intersection

80km/h from 400 metres south of the intersection, as it is currently

A speed limit of 70km/h through the signalised intersection is acceptable
and is commonly used in this type of environment (eg. a speed limit of
70km/h for the New England Highway through Highfields, which has much
higher traffic volumes).

The sections of the highway in the 70km/h and 80km/h zones are rural
residential with very few accesses.

These speed zones are appropriate for the upgraded road environment, road
users perception of appropriate speeds and are enforceable.

So, when the first 'stack' due to running a red light at this intersection occurs, TBUG will email Mr Peacock, his DG and his Minister and remind them all of this 'wise counsel'... while the Health Department and Emergency Services add to the nations GDP.

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