A SPEED limit of 40 kilometres per hour, down from the current limit of 50 kmph, has been proposed for Foster’s central business district and shopping precinct.
South Gippsland Shire Council is currently considering reducing the speed limit for the Foster CBD, prompted by feedback it has received from the local community.
A letter written by the Shire’s Infrastructure Protection Officer Rob Jenner that outlines the proposal and invites comments has been sent to the Foster Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. for distribution among local businesses.
In the letter is a map detailing the area where the lowered speed limit would apply, which includes the two branches of Main Street from the south-western end of Toora Road to the roundabout; all of Bridge Street, and Station Road to Court Street.
Mr Jenner writes that the “Council has recently received requests from the community to lower the speed limit to 40 kmph in the shopping precinct.
“The matter was investigated in conjunction with the streetscape project of four to five years ago but was put on hold until the new street works were completed and the road responsibility [was] handed over to Council from VicRoads/Rural Roads Victoria,” he continues.
Referring to the Chamber as “a group supporting businesses in Foster”, Mr Jenner, states that “we seek your support for [or opposition to] the proposed speed limit change” and asks the Chamber to “let Council know your thoughts [via email or post].”
Mr Jenner’s letter concludes with the stipulation that “if you choose not to comment, it will be assumed that your tacit support for the change is provided.”
An additional observation received from the Shire indicates that “the 40 kmph signage is considered suitable for Foster due to the high amount of pedestrian traffic and would complement other speed mitigating controls already in place, for example, the pedestrian crossings.”
The Chamber is required to supply its response and comments to the Shire Council by 5 pm on Friday January 26, 2023.
Chamber Members’ remarks wanted by January 19
In a covering note to the members of the Foster Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., enclosing the Shire’s letter, Chamber Secretary Janine Best said, “we need your opinion on this” and that “we would appreciate [your] reply by Friday January 19.
“Council are reviewing the speed limit in Main Street, as well as Toora Road, and have asked for our thoughts,” she wrote.
“Please take a few minutes to have a look at the attached draft plan and give any feedback or opinion you have to us so that we can collate and reply to the Council by their deadline [of Friday January 26].”
Mrs Best listed a number of “things to consider” about the mooted 40 kmph speed limit as identified by the Chamber’s executive so far and called on the members to contribute any other ideas and points of view they may have.
The Chamber’s matters for consideration included:
- Do incidents and policing suggest there is a need to drop it to 40kms?
- Do you think the majority of people go too fast through the areas highlighted or are they a minority?
- Will these speedy drivers continue to drive fast in spite of the limits set?
- Is the draft plan too wide and does it cover too much area?
- Are there bigger issues relating to safety in the actual main street?
Among these issues are the visibility of the existing pedestrian crossing and the confusion regarding the “non-crossing walkways that the Council could address first and in a different way.”
The note also suggested some of the ways these issues could be resolved, such as “flashing lights at the pedestrian crossing, better visibility, and signage for pedestrians to give way to cars on the non- crossings.”
“I am sure there are many more things to consider,” Mrs Best wrote.
“So, please throw them at us by Friday January 19, and we will pass these comments to the council.”