Maribyrnong councillors have dismissed a backlash against plans to introduce blanket 40km/h speed limits on residential streets.
Councillors last Tuesday unanimously voted to support a move that will cost more than $540,000 for new signage and line-marking and up to $18 million in total.
A speed limit of 30km/h could also be introduced in central Footscray and a limit as low as 10km/h is being explored for Yarraville Village.
Cr Martin Zakharov said Maribyrnong was behind other inner-Melbourne councils in pursuing the 40km/h limit, which was proving successful in Yarra and Port Phillip.
“A 10km/hr road speed in Yarraville village will be the next phase hopefully.”
He said the “shared pedestrian zone” in Yarraville would be Australia’s first outside a city centre.
Council infrastructure services director Sunil Bhalla said the Yarraville proposal was “an initiative of councillor Zakharov” that had some merit and council officers had been considering its possible implementation.
Council will also request VicRoads cut 60km/h speed limits to 50km/h for parts of arterial roads including Gordon Street, Churchill Avenue and Williamstown, Ballarat and Whitehall roads.
Councillor Sarah Carter said her support for the speed reduction was based on concerns over safety and a way to encourage more people to walk and cycle.
“Some people don’t get it, so it’s our job to make the right decision.”
Councillor Simon Crawford said he was proud of the council for “really starting to lead the way”.
Mayor Catherine Cumming said every 10km/h reduction in speed greatly increases a pedestrian’s chance of survival if hit by a vehicle.
She conceded council’s plan had “copped a bit of a hammering”, but said there was a mindset in which people wanted drivers to slow down in their own streets yet were angered by having to slow down elsewhere.