Switzerland: Winterthur to impose 30km/h speed limit across entire city
In a move designed to encourage pedestrian and bike traffic, the Swiss city of Winterthur will put in place a 30km/h speed limit on all roads and streets.
In addition, the speed limit will be reduced from 30km/h to 20km/h in residential areas.
The city council told Swiss news site 20 Minutes that they want to develop a new traffic culture in the city by making more attractive street spaces and squares, while reducing noise and environmental pollution.
The council also indicated their modelling showed traffic would not be slowed significantly, with the speed limit change to be accompanied by changes in traffic light programming to create a “continual flow” of traffic.
The changes will be introduced gradually, with the speed limit set to be reduced to 30km/h in busy areas like the old town and district centres by 2025.
This will then be followed by streets with a high density of buildings.
In order to improve public transport, cycling and pedestrian access, dedicated bus lanes and cycle lanes will be introduced in certain areas.
The plan mirrors similar steps being taken in neighbouring Zurich, where the city council has changed a decades-old law which protected the number of parking spaces for cars in the city.
The law, handed down in 1996, required that the number of parking spots in the city be kept at the same level as at 1990.
Known as the “historic parking lot compromise”, this meant that every time a parking spot was removed by the city, another one needed to be built or created to replace it.
The city’s ruling Social Democrats argued that more space was needed so that pedestrians can “linger and stroll”.