Even though the Province of British Columbia has refused to give the authority to create 30 km/h areas to the municipalities, the data is clearly showing the benefits of such a change.
Viewpoint Vancouver has already written about the City of Edinburgh which reduced crashes resulting in death/injury by 30 percent and saved 60 million dollars that would have been spent on serious injury and crashes simply by slowing down to 30 km/h driver speeds.
And in Spain where in May 2021 speed limits of only 30 km/h came in effect on city streets, data shows that there were 20 percent fewer deaths and 4 percent fewer hospital injuries than that recorded in pre pandemic 2019.
Those figures represent a 31 percent decrease deaths of seniors over 64 years of age. Cyclist deaths decreased by 34 percent. The Spanish Minister of the Interior states that the reduction of deaths in one year is unprecedented and shows the impact of 30 km/h road speeds, which allow for more driver reaction time and also are more survivable for pedestrians and cyclists being crashed into.
Slower city speeds also make other forms of transportation more useable, as was reported in the 20 is Plenty Conference held last month in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Samuel Bailey pointed out that slower driver road speeds means that smaller more adept sharable vehicles, when needed, can be utilized for going to shops and services. Lowering maximum driver speeds also lessens CO2, NOx and PM emissions. And allows for slower speed options to move people. You can read the research on this here.
Stats: Dr. S. Bailey
While the United Kingdom is looking at WALZ zones, (which stands for Wide Area Low Speed Zones), the federal government is also banning the sale of gas powered vehicles in 2030.
That means that bikes, e-scooters and other battery operated vehicles that can go 30 km/h an hour as a maximum are welcome in these areas.
There’s another vehicle besides the standard steel box vehicle that can come back in use in lower driver speed areas. One that has ten times less lithium, cobalt and nickel used in the process, with ten times less energy made in manufacture compared to an electric vehicle. It also uses three times less CO2 per mile from electricity generation than an electric vehicle.
Rebranded as the “bug-e.city”, these modified covered golf carts can be parked four in a parking space, charge from a regular extension cable, and are more friendlier (and at a better scale) for pedestrians and cyclist interactions.
Starting in early 2023 Bug-e.city is being rolled out as a shared vehicle that can be booked online for use in 30 km/h areas in Hammersmith and Fulham. London and Oxford, which have large 30 km/h zones are also being planned for Bug-e shares.
You can take a look at the website here which will be populated with details as the project is implemented.
It is one more example of thinking not only out of the box but thinking of other smaller options-why maintain an electric vehicle capable of going 100 kilometers per hour driver road speed if your errands are in zones that are 30 kilometers per hour?
Works for me but I’m retired and not usually in a hurry. The improved gas milage is a bonus.
Just thought of an apropos factoid that somehow feels relevant. Usain Bolt’s record average ground speed over 100 meters was 37.5 kmh. The fastest mile (Hicham El Gauraurrouj) was run at at just a wee bit under 26 kmh. So somewhere in that logic, if we split the difference, it just seems right.