Our Asks

In addition to WalkSydney’s objectives, we have developed a list of asks that will help make Sydney more walkable.

Our Key Asks

30 km/h Urban Default Speed Limit

The extra benefits from speed limits higher than 30km/h in urban areas for drivers are marginal. And as 30km/h speed limits make the streets safe for sharing, we enable one of the most efficient transport modes for urban areas: riding a bike. Note the table is not meant to say walking is not important: walking combined with a good network of public transport is a great way to get around.

Traffic Signal Improvements for Pedestrians

  • Eliminate beg buttons (automatic pedestrian phases)
  • Install leading pedestrian interval (peds go first to increase visibility)
  • Reduce waiting time (shorter cycles)
  • Increase walk signal duration

Road Rules Prioritising Pedestrians

  • Introduce a hierarchy of road users – those who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger they may pose to others
  • Implement presumption of driver fault in crashes, unless driver can prove otherwise
  • Ensure drivers and riders give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road at every intersection without a signal, from every direction (every intersection a crosswalk)
  • Require drivers to take special care when they see children – by reducing the driving speed and by being ready to brake

Detailed Asks

  • Intersection Crossings
    • Provide legal pedestrian crossings at all movements.
    • Increase the use of Wombats (raised pedestrian crossings).
    • Implement Pedestrian phases as the default condition, so no beg button (pedestrian actuation) required.
    • Install Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) at all intersections with pedestrians present.
    • Detect pedestrians automatically at all intersections (prioritise those with more pedestrians). Implement pedestrian detection technology (as used in Queensland and Victoria) that adjusts signal timing for people walking (shorter waiting times and longer time to cross the road).
  • Infrastructure
    • Provide active transport connections to destinations, existing local infrastructure, and known walking/riding routes on all major projects. Active transport infrastructure is always the first thing to be deleted from projects in cost-cutting. This short-sightedness has become evident within a few months after the opening of new infrastructure such as Inner West Light Rail.  
    • Reclassify roads to implement Movement and Place Framework. With the roll-out of new mass transport (metro & light rail) and new motorways throughout Sydney, a comprehensive revision of classified roads is needed in the context of the Sydney Green Grid, the movement and place framework in FTS 2056 and the District Plans and, subsequent revision of road funding mechanisms. Successful Places is one of the NSW Outcome Budgeting framework components.
    • Fund public domain works around schools to overturn the widespread practice of drive-to-school, delivered by local government (subject to many of the suggestions above especially training of traffic engineers)    
    • Fund network of protected bicycle lanes (not shared paths) for delivery by local government (subject to many of the suggestions above especially training of traffic engineers)  
  • Institutions
    • Remove the veto vote held by TfNSW (RMS) (and Police) on Local Traffic Committees
    • Remove political screening of the short-list for TfNSW (RMS) Walking and Cycling Programs (grants). Presently recommendations are made by staff, this list of recommendations is given to State MPs and the approved list can differ from the staff recommendations.
  • Instruct
    • Train local government traffic engineers and road safety officers on road designs to provide walkability.
    • Train TfNSW (RMS) traffic signals team about access by walking and bicycling . 
    • Train NSW Police on the NSW Road Rules as they apply to pedestrian access    
    • Enforce (in a continuous and highly visible way) the road rules (such as left-turn rule, etc). 
  • Implement Best Practices   
    • Revise NSW speed zones to ensure lower speeds can be implemented easily in the right locations. A 30 km/h speed limit should be the default in urban areas, and higher only in select locations.
    • Revise the Road Rules so that every intersection is by default a crosswalk, (i.e. the road crosses the footpath, rather than the footpath crossing the road), so it is clear to drivers that pedestrians have the right-of-way at unsignalised crossings
    • Revise TfNSW (RMS) Technical Directions for traffic devices such as Shared Zones, Continuous Footpath Treatments, etc.
    • Revise TfNSW (RMS) Traffic Signal Design Guide (it imposes restrictions that keep cars moving and reduces pedestrian access. Example. Old Canterbury Rd at Lewisham West light rail stop).
    • Revise TfNSW (RMS) supplements for Australian Standards and Austroads Guides which includes warrant for zebra crossings and slip lanes.
    • Revise rail setback specifications so active transport corridors can be provided beside rail lines (where often there are existing service roads, etc).

Originally posted under https://walksydney.org/2019/09/24/walksydneys-list-of-aims/