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).
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.