Ever ridden along The Crescent? The sharp bend near Johnston St under the light rail bridge is poorly surfaced and bumpy and the shoulder is minimal, yet the RMS calls this a State Road, with a speed limit of 60K. The section between Johnston St and Trafalgar St has more bends, narrow shoulders next to parked cars, and definitely needs a lower speed limit. [ See note at end for a proposed change to 50].
Further along the road widens to two lanes each way, with no parking, but the left turn lane at Wigram Rd and the narrowing between Wigram Rd and Ross St makes life interesting for cyclists. Again, 50 or 40 K would be more appropriate here.
Darley Rd/Foster St residents in Leichhardt campaigned for a lower speed limit for years, and as it is all residential, why not? This “its a State Road therefore it has to be 60” mentality of the RTA has to change. (Darley Rd was made 50 recently after RMS gave in.) This is at least consistent,as Darling St between Victoria Rd and Balmain Rd is 50K, on a State Road.
Lower speeds would go a long way to make cycling safer and more enjoyable. Bike Leichhardt members are asked to write to the Minister for Roads asking for lower speed limits on these roads, and name a road where lower speeds should be implemented here: https://www.saferroadsnsw.com.au/haveyoursay.aspx
Leichhardt Council introduced 40K limit throughout the Balmain Peninsular (anywhere north of Victoria Rd), and in some other streets, such as / Styles St, Booth St and Norton St, and this is highly commendable, but speed counts show many motorists still travel at 45 to 50 K. More enforcement by Police is needed, plus more reminders to the public that 40 is the go, and 30 would actually be desirable on residential streets. At 30 kph a crash involving a cyclist or pedestrian is survivable in around 90% of cases, at 40 it is about 60% and at 60 it is around 20%.
Read some useful supporting argument here from Uni of NSW Professor of Road Safety on Lowerspeedlimits and a paper here. There is a worlwide trend to making 30 the urban default speed limit, and recently Manly and Liverpool have introduced 30 zones in some places. Australia is a signatory to the Vision Zero statement.
[note added in 2020: Speed limit on The Crescent is to be reduced to 50 as part of the Govt response to COVID 19. , and Pyrmont Bridge Rd to 40.]