8km/h speed limit

Speed Limit Limbo

Trying to go lower than the speed limit of 10km/h (6mph) of some of the shared paths of Melbourne City, the South Wharf Promenade has been plastered with an interesting choice of 8km/h (5mph).

8km/h speed limit

Recognising that many pedestrians run or jog along this section for fitness, the sign neatly applies only to cyclists and skateboards. The enforceability or legal standing of applying a speed limit to a vehicle that is not required to have a speed indicating/measuring device should be interesting alone, let alone the practical issues of operating a bicycle at such low speeds. For reference a single speed bicycle with 700c tires, very relaxed gearing of 39×19, and a cyclist pedalling at an uncomfortably slow 60rpm is already travelling 15km/h (9mph) while a commuting cyclist will average 30km/h (20mph) or more. Austroads recommends that cyclist and pedestrian behaviour drives the design of paths, not that the paths dictate their behaviour. Being one of the only east-west routes across the city significant commuting traffic of both cyclists and pedestrians use this path, with neither having viable alternatives. Vicroads have declined to comment on the matter referring questions to the City of Melbourne, who along with the Victorian Police have promised a response next week which will be presented in this blog.

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8 thoughts on “Speed Limit Limbo

  1. Another factor is that if for example the speed limit forces cyclists to travel at half their normal speed (assuming a normal average speed of 16mph) cyclists will be on the route for twice as long – which means twice as many cyclists at any given time, and twice as many encounters with pedestrians.

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  2. A 5mph limit is just a roundabout way of saying ‘no cycling’, surely?

    Logical thing to do is to dismount and run along pushing the bike beside you – you could do a fair bit faster than 5mph like that and it would be within the rules.

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    1. That is the concern, that these privately owned and operated pieces of public infrastructure could be closed to cyclists on a permanent basis. The councillor responsible for the matters promised a reply but has yet to get back us.

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