Doncaster Hill resident John Stanford wrote; “Pedestrians who reside west of Tram Road and wish to travel by Bus to Box Hill and beyond must either risk crossing Tram road to a bus stop opposite or take the safe option and walk up to the Doncaster Road crossing and back to a bus stop on the east side which could be some distance depending on how far south of Doncaster Road the commuter lives”.
Tram Road, a four lane divided arterial road which bisects the Doncaster Hill Activity Centre, presents a hostile environment to walkers because it has no pedestrian crossings to enable safe access points to local zones for local retail and commercial facilities as well as bus stops. Despite all the material published by the Manningham
Council, about walking and cycling around Doncaster Hill, there is no safe or convenient facility for pedestrians anywhere along Elgar or Tram Roads except where they intersect with Doncaster Road.
With the Doncaster Hill precincts straddling major arterial roads, attention must be directed towards reducing the barriers that currently confront pedestrians. If we are to conform to the ideals of an Activity Centre then a better pedestrian and cycling network with improved amenity must be provided to encourage non-car modes of transport.
The reluctance to install pedestrian crossings along Tram and Elgar Road might be that VicRoads are concerned that crossings would impede traffic flow. This might explain the flowery and condescending responses you get from VicRoads and Manningham Council when you make written inquiry…below is an example of a recent answer to a resident….
“As you may appreciate, VicRoads receives many requests each year for pedestrian safety projects and all are reviewed for relative priority. Pedestrian projects are prioritised for funding according to traffic volumes, pedestrian activity levels, nearby land uses, the historical safety record of the site, the effectiveness of proposed treatments to improve pedestrian safety and the implementation costs”.
“In regard to the cycling facilities on Tram Road, please be advised that the state government is committed to improving safety for cyclists and pedestrians across Melbourne and regional cities. To support this commitment, the Government is establishing Active Transport Victoria, a new division within the department, to focus on increased participation and safety among cyclists and pedestrians. The Government will also establish a $100 million Safer Cyclists and Pedestrians Fund to invest in new, dedicated cycling and walking facilities across Victoria, keeping bikes and pedestrians away from traffic”.
Pedestrians are considered vulnerable road users largely due to their lack of protection and limited tolerance to violent forces if hit by a vehicle.
A total of 32 pedestrians were killed on Victorian roads in 2014, which represented 15% of all fatalities. Of the pedestrian deaths in 2014;
- 86% were in the Melbourne metropolitan area and
- 67% were on roads signposted at 60km/h or lower
- 58% of those killed on 60km/h or lower roads were aged 70+
Between 2004 and 2013, 465 pedestrians were killed on Victorian roads, with one third aged 70 years or over. Most (72%) were killed in Metropolitan Melbourne, and most (65%) were male.
The speed limits required to protect pedestrians are lower than others, and the environment in which pedestrians are exposed to danger are the most developed and congested areas such as the Doncaster Hill Activity Centre.
In a collision with a vehicle, pedestrians are always the weakest party and are at a greater risk of injury or death compared with most other road users. Pedestrian safety is one of the largest challenges to the implementation of safe system principles.
Walking is not only good for children’s health and fitness, it’s also a great way for them to get around their neighbourhood independently. However, being a pedestrian does involve a number of hazards, especially for young children. Roads are designed with adults in mind, however children are not ‘little adults’. Child pedestrians are at an increased risk of injury because unlike adults they are less developed physically and in terms of their traffic experience.