June 5, 2020
Changes to the pedestrian zone in Gunnedah will not only improve safety, but allow the town centre to develop as a community hub, Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey says.
Gunnedah Shire Council was successful in securing $106,000 from Transport NSW’s Centre for Road Safety to extend the town’s high pedestrian activity zone and make a number of safety changes.
“Our community had expressed concern after a number of near misses in the CBD,” Cr Chaffey said.
“The centre of Gunnedah is a hub for community and cultural activities, and the safety of both adults and children is critical. People should feel safe when they are on their way to the movies, going to the newsagents, visiting markets or any of the many reasons people gather in the town precinct.
“While transport is an important part of any town and any shire, it is not the only part. Making the area safer will encourage placemaking and community building – helping make the most of everyone’s experience in Gunnedah.
“This will remind motorists that this is a place for people, and it is essential to drive with care.”
A road safety audit in the central business district was completed after safety concerns were raised. After the audit was reviewed by the Local Traffic Committee, Council and Transport NSW, Transport NSW requested a design for the extension of the high pedestrian activity zone.
Council sought funding to complete the design, which was approved by Transport NSW’s Centre for Road Safety.
Among the changes to be made are:
• The extension of the 40km/h high pedestrian activity zone from along the CBD section of Conadilly Street to the zone between Little Barber Street and Little Conadilly Street, ending at the Gunnedah Services and Bowls Club at one end and the Town Hall roundabout at the other, with new signage and road painting to reflect the limits. Marquis Street from Conadilly Street through to the Barber Street roundabout will also be 40km/h.
• New raised concrete pedestrian blisters and kerb ramps in Abbott Street near Little Conadilly Street; in Conadilly Street near Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club; in Elgin Street near Little Barber Street; and in Chandos Street near Little Barber Street
• New “big eye” stickers near pedestrian crossings to remind people to stop to “Look out before you step out”.
“Transport NSW statistics show that crashes involving pedestrians where the vehicle is travelling at 40km an hour compared to 50km an hour actually halves the risk of a fatality,” Cr Chaffey said.
“That is one very good reason to lower the speed limit in the town centre.”
Adding to the safety and liveability of the town hub is a new cycleway now under construction along South Street between View Street and Marquis Street with the assistance of NSW government funding.
Cr Chaffey said Council had once again been successful in working with the NSW Government to progress important projects for the Shire, securing a 50% co-contribution funding from the Active Transport Program to construct the “missing link” in the town’s network of pathways.
The cycleway will be a shared pathway for pedestrians, runners and cyclists.
Media contact: Eliza Gallen (02) 6740 2100.