A liveable city ensures the safety of all users; including pedestrians, vehicle drivers and bicycle riders. In April 2016, a 40km/h speed limit was expanded across the city centre to improve safety for pedestrians, bicycle riders and other road users. The expansion of the 40km/h zone creates a safer environment for pedestrians, bicycle riders and motorists, removing areas of changing speed zones and lowering the severity of crashes.
The expanded zone now covers the following areas:
- A northern boundary to Alfred Street and the existing 40km/h zone in The Rocks area.
- An eastern boundary to Macquarie Street, College Street (to Liverpool Street) and Elizabeth Street (to Eddy Avenue).
- A southern boundary to Railway Square.
- A western boundary to Quay Street, including the Paddy’s Market precinct (Transport New South Wales, 2016).
There are also many potential safety initiatives for the city centre that are in trial, or under investigation, for potential implementation. These include the following:
- Traffic signal phase modifications – these could include:
- Pedestrian head start or red arrow protection
- Modified traffic signals to provide pedestrian priority pedestrian countdown timers
- Pavement embedded pedestrian lights.
The Road Safety Plan 2021 has the following initiatives outlined in the priority area “Safe Urban Places.” The challenge is to keep our urban places liveable and safe. Our vibrant streets must allow people to move about safely as demand increases.
To improve the safety of people in our urban places, the NSW Government will:
- Install traffic calming, pedestrian refuges and crossings in busy urban places across NSW, to improve pedestrian and bicycle rider safety, and reduce casualty crashes.
- Partner with local government to expand 40km/h in high pedestrian activity and local areas to reduce crashes and protect pedestrians.
- Explore options to accelerate safety upgrades at intersections through the Safer Roads Program, including:
- Works that deliver safer and more controlled vehicle turning to reduce the risk of dangerous side impact crashes, especially in locations with older and vulnerable road users
- An expanded pedestrian protection (green on green removal) program and ongoing review of new technology and signal changes for safer pedestrian and bicycle rider movement
- Raised intersection platforms, profile treatments, and innovative roundabout designs at more urban intersections to reduce serious injuries.
- Maximise safety integration in bicycle network programs to facilitate safer movement, provide separation from other traffic, where appropriate, and manage vehicle speeds.