COUNCIL WANT MORE PEOPLE TO WALK & CYCLE

“With the growth of Doncaster Hill a recent study forecasts a significant increase in locally generated traffic. In order to enhance livability and community well being we want to work with the community to come up with solutions as to how we can get more people to walk, cycle and use public transport”.

Community Consultation Click to Enlarge

Community Consultation
Click to Enlarge

Empty Bike Security Click to enlarge

Empty Bike Security

Doncaster Road and Williamsons/Tram Road, both busy arterial carriageways, present a very hostile environment for pedestrians which is discouraging walking trips to Westfield as well as access to the Bus exchange located there. The incorporation of grade separated pedestrian bridges over these roads is one option for consideration. However any construction of a new pedestrian overpass or underpass would have to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) which requires low gradient ramps. This is unlikely to be

achievable in Doncaster Road because of the narrow road reserves on either side of the road which would make lead up entries too steep.

The synchronising of traffic lights at Council Street, which will have the added burden of accommodating the eastern entry and western exit for the massive Bunnings development, will provide limited crossing opportunities for pedestrians in the busy periods. Already congestion is an issue at the Doncaster Road intersections with Frederick Street and Tower Street, in particular during the peak shopping hours, the Westfield exit at Tower Street is experiencing significant queuing and delays.

Exiting vehicles turning right from Tower Street are often required to stop at Frederick Street due to the high demand for pedestrians to cross Doncaster Road at this location. During the peak shopping hours, this often results in vehicle queues spilling back and blocking the entire Doncaster Road / Tower Street intersection. Therefore, when VicRoads detects over-saturation at the Tower Street exit, it will allow these right turn vehicles to proceed with a green light at Frederick Street to ‘”ease the pressure” resulting in periods where the pedestrian green light is restricted to only a staged sequence. ( one half way crossing at a time).

Cycling is extremely difficult because of the steep streets surrounding Doncaster Hill.

There are no safe dedicated paths for cyclists. Manningham were forced to abandon the Doncaster Hill Circuit route because of public liability issues. The plan for cyclists to share a widened footpath was scrapped because of the danger to walkers of speeding cyclists and vehicles exiting driveways.

Walking and cycling are the basic ingredients vital to the function of any activity centre. The 2004 panel report described the sloped streets of the area as a “physical impediment to walking and cyclists would have to dismount and wheel their bikes up the incline!”

There was no consideration for the variety of people who would be using the footpaths, especially the aged, people in wheelchairs or women wheeling prams. And no plan to avoid physical barriers that would disadvantage these users.

Only the most fit pedestrians and cyclists are able to navigate the slopes of Doncaster Hill and most residents that live in the “walkable” catchment areas, within 400 metres of the centre, are using their car.

The Doncaster Hill activity centre with its poor public transport services and poor walking and cycling connections to the rest of the centre and to the surrounding community is perpetuating an unsustainable level of car use.

“The discouragement of car ownership is also important and can be achieved by  reminding owners of the real cost of owning a car”, a measure suggested by Manningham council, was hardly likely to succeed.

2 Responses to “COUNCIL WANT MORE PEOPLE TO WALK & CYCLE”

  1. Anonyme says:

    It is frustrating for the community to be asked to participate in this facade when council knows there is no solution. Manningham council doesn’t need any more conversations with the community, (they had one in May this year when only a hand full of people attended), to know that the problems of Doncaster Hill has been created by its location. Most of these overpopulated apartment developments are being built on the side of the hill where the gradients of the narrow access roads are unsuitable for cycling and walking. Car dependence on Doncaster Hill can only escalate because the area is too remote and fails to meet the self containment ideals for activity centres. It has no tertiary education, no hospital facilities, no emergency care, no railway station and more than 67% of its work force have to drive to their place of employment outside of the Municipality.

  2. Graham says:

    They are inviting community participation now rather than at the initial planning stage. The problems facing Doncaster Hill today are directly linked to over development and difficult topography which was predicted by public objectors. Trouble was council wanted to rush the scheme through so there was no consultation, just “information” sessions masquerading as community consultation to meet statutory planning procedural requirements. We will not be attending.
    Graham

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