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BREAKING: Orange CBD to have 40km/h speed limit by the end of the year

June 9, 2023

By Peter Holmes

The Orange CBD will become a 40km/h zone later this year as council ramps up its efforts to “transition Orange CBD into a High Pedestrian Activity Area”.

Such areas around the state are limited by 40km/h maximum speeds.

Textured and coloured asphalt at 14 entrances to the Orange CBD will alert drivers that they are entering a 40km/h speed zone, Orange City Council revealed on Friday morning (June 9, 2023).

The works will commence next week. The textured and coloured asphalt surface will be heat-stamped onto the roadway at entrances to the greater CBD, bounded by Peisley, Kite, Hill and Byng streets.

It’s expected to take around two weeks to complete the work.

“Once these stamps are in place, before the end of the year, new signs will be added telling drivers they are entering a High Pedestrian Activity Area,” Orange City Council stated.

Mayor Jason Hamling said: “For a number of years, the Orange CBD has been transitioning from a traffic-focused place to a pedestrian-focused place. These changes are the next steps in that trend.

“The focus on becoming more pedestrian-friendly has been a key element of the FutureCity design upgrades in the CBD.”

Hamling said “our CBD is becoming a destination residents travel to and spend time in, not a route for through traffic. In the same way that building the northern bypass successfully took cattle trucks out of the centre of town, this change will gradually encourage local commuters to choose other routes such as Moulder and March streets to avoid the CBD, creating an even more pedestrian-friendly zone.”

Council stated that “High Pedestrian Activity Areas … are a successful way of making town centres more attractive and becoming places to spend more time”.

“Parkes is one of dozens of towns and suburbs across NSW [to make] their CBD a High Pedestrian Activity Area. Others include Mudgee, Pennant Hills, Katoomba, Artarmon, North Sydney, Taree, Forster, Belmore, Paddington and Oatlands.”

Council stated that after a community consultation in December 2020, it asked Transport for NSW to consider lowering the speed limit in the CBD.

“The Orange Business Chamber supported the change, based on pedestrian safety and making the CBD more walkable. This project has the approval of, and is completely funded by, Transport for NSW.”

Do support 40km/h speed limits in the CBD?

  • Yes

  • No

The new speed limit will not come into force until later this year when signs are installed.

Councillor Tony Mileto, chair of the Traffic Committee, said drivers would feel a “small vibration as they drive over the new surface".

“This change is about making our main shopping area more pedestrian-friendly but the research is clear that it also makes it safer,” Mileto added.

“Transport for NSW research shows that roads with High Pedestrian Activity Areas have experienced almost double the reduction in casualty crashes compared to other urban roads over the last 20.”

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