The City of Ballarat’s 40km/h zone policy has seen thousands of dollars spent on two signs and extensive road painting for a laneway that leads to private carparks off Mair Street.
(min cost $8)
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The lane, between Peel Street and Humffray street, has received the same treatment as major boundaries of the zone like Lydiard Street and Sturt Street.
General Manager City Services Terry Demeo said all zone entrances to the 40km/h zone had to be marked in the same way, no matter its size.
“Every entry and exit point in relation to the 40 km/h Area Speed Zone in the Ballarat CBD is required to have speed limit signage and painted terracotta road surfaces,” he said.
“The printed speed limit on the painted road surfaces is to further guide motorists.”
Graeme Oram from Eureka Blinds and Curtains, which is next door, said they thought it was funny when council put in the two signs and red strip.
“There’s no way to get to 40km/h in that space of time,” he said.
“There’s not even 100 metres there.”
“Even if you had a motorbike you couldn’t get to 40 (km/h).”
According to council the total cost for the 19 points around the CBD with signage was $61,780.
If each site cost the same to do, that means the Mair Street alley would have cost $3251.
Councillor Amy Johnson campaigned against the lower speed limit trial, and said the laneway could be a sign of overspending.
“I think as a council we need to be aware with every decision that we make that it’s someone else’s money that we’re spending,” she said.
“In cases where we’re putting signs in lanes, signs that cost thousands, I just don’t know that there’s strategic justification for it.”
After the red strips and signs were installed Cr Johnson pushed for the ‘40’ to be added so the boundaries were clearer.
The trial speed limit was called a success last month by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
Councillor Belinda Coates said it had encouraged pedestrian activity in the CBD.
“It’s pretty self evident it is going reasonably well,” she said.
“The feedback I have received is that it has made a real difference to the Sturt Street pedestrian crossing times, with minimal impact on drivers.”
As well as the lower speed limits, VicRoads has lengthened pedestrian crossing times at traffic lights on Sturt Street.
The trial began on November 12, and will run for one year before being reviewed by council on safety and traffic grounds.
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