What is a Shared Zone?
A Shared Zone is a road shared by vehicles and pedestrians. The maximum speed limit is 10 km/h.
The NSW guidelines for shared zones state it must have clearly different coloured and textured surface treatments from the surrounding roads. RMS Guidelines state: “All new shared zones must be constructed without kerbs.” According to experts, when you isolate drivers from people by a kerb, it is like saying: This is my space, and that is yours, so the driver drives faster.
Why is it a Shared Zone?
It is a shared zone as it is not practical to close off the road as business owners need access to their buildings and there are some residential apartments above the building and those residents need access to their car parking spaces.
How Can Lane Cove Drivers Make this Shared Zone Safer?
Lane Cove drivers need to take some steps to make this shared zone a success.
Do not drive along the shared zone to pick up food or drop off passengers.
Here are some of the things we have witnessed since the Shared Zone was implemented:
- A car parked in the middle of the street to pick up coffee;
- Cars parking behind the ANZ bank to collect pizzas;
- Numerous Uber Drivers picking up food orders;
- Delivery Drivers using the loading zones and delivering product to shops located in the plaza (when loading zones are located on Rosenthal Avenue)
What Are the Number of Vehicle Movements?
As a general rule, streets with greater than 100 vehicles per hour during the afternoon peak should not be considered for Shared Zone treatment.
We asked Lane Cove Council to tell us the number of vehicles that use the Shared Zone.
“On a typical day, the highest number of vehicles were recorded between 11.30 am-12.30 pm in the AM and 6.15-7.15 pm in the PM. During this time 39 and 57 vehicles were reported in the AM and PM respectively.
91% light vehicles and 9% medium to heavy vehicles were recorded during a two-week period in Birdwood Lane.”
On ITC and ITC Lane Cove Chat numerous people have posted or commented on the Shared Zone and wondered how safe it is (particularly near The Cake Man exit).
Number of Issues Reported to Lane Cove Council
We asked Lane Cove Council how many complaints they had received. We were advised that Lane Cove Council has received approximately 15 complaints about the shared zone.
We also asked if any accidents had been reported since the Share Zone was implemented. Lane Cove Council advised only one incident has been reported and that was a truck hitting a parking sign while trying to park in a designated bay.
Lane Cove Council further advised:
“Council is committed to ensuring the safety of users of the Shared Zone. The Shared Zone was designed by TTW Consulting Engineers to be compliant with TfNSW Guidelines. Council has commissioned an independent review to see if additional measures could be implemented.
We are currently collecting speed data pre and post the implementation of an interactive sign which radar checks and records speeds. This will allow Council to assess the effectiveness before considering a permanent version.
In addition, there is a promotional campaign coming up that aims to raise awareness for pedestrians and drivers.”
What a shame that Lane Cove Council did not seek community consultation before the Shared zone was implemented. The TfNSW guidelines state:
“To gain support for the implementation of a shared zone, to ensure compliance with the road rules, and to mitigate any potential conflicts and problems prior to the operation of the scheme, the concept and detailed design of a shared zone must be developed with the participation of the local community. Inclusive in this process is the need to liaise with disability groups. Consultation with stakeholders such as the Police, emergency services, public transport companies, delivery/ garbage truck operators and local businesses is needed prior to the implementation of the scheme. It is the responsibility of the local council to deliver an appropriate public awareness campaign and should include a variety of communication channels (e.g. door knocking, media coverage, placement of posters and signs, distribution of brochures, and public exhibitions). This campaign should advise residents on issues such as where to place garbage bins, and the need to remove them from the shared zone promptly once emptied.”
The guidelines also state a road safety audit is to be conducted after implementation. Local council should also periodically monitor the scheme to assess the effectiveness of the operation of a shared zone.
We look forward to hearing details about the road safety audit and any consultant’s report on changes that should be made.
Drop Off Zones
In the meantime, Lane Cove Council should be doing everything they can to encourage less use of the Shared Zone.
This might mean have some drop-off/pick up points or more loading zones for deliveries. Now that there is so much more parking in Lane Cove, we can afford to replace some on-street parking with drop off zones and more loading zones.
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