DONCASTER HILL NOT FRIENDLY TO PEDESTRIANS

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”.

Ideal crossing location with Bus stops opposite Click to enlarge

Bus Stops located opposite  ideal for pedestrian  crossing
Click to enlarge

Child Supervision Click to enlarge

Child Supervision Vital
Click to enlarge

Speed/Pedestrian Survival Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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.

Heavy Traffic Tram Road Near Merlin Street Click to enlarge

Heavy Traffic Tram Road
Near Merlin Street
Click to enlarge

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.

Pedestrian Deaths  2004-2013 Click to enlarge

Pedestrian Deaths
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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.

6 Responses to “DONCASTER HILL NOT FRIENDLY TO PEDESTRIANS”

  1. Francis says:

    We are trying to get a pedestrian crossing built on Tram road for the safety benefit of pedestrians who live a along way south of the Doncaster Road intersection where the only crossing is situated.
    The announcement of the $100 million dollar funding towards the newly formed division Active Transport Victoria. (ATV) progam where funding for these types of projects would be sourced, sounds good but there is a catch.
    The money was to be allocated over a period of six years but only $3.3 million would be made available over the first three years which happens to be the life of the current state government. This means only $1.1 million per year would be available in the first three years….enough to cover the wages of additional bureaucrats to run it and the residue, if any, could go towards glossy brochures and poitical propganda.
    “The right to be safe on the road should extend to everyone-drivers, cyclists and walkers their lives are worth every cent”….Mr Andrews says.
    If you could give this some exposure it would be much appreciated. We have not spoken with VicRoads. It would be better to speak with Steven Yang who we had copied in.
    We would like to thank Manningham councillor Dot Haynes who has been very helpful.
    Francis

    • lance keegan says:

      It was ridiculous to plan such a large Activity Centre cut in four by two arterial roads. While I have concerns for the safety of pedestrians we cannot afford to have any further obstructions to traffic flow. Subways or overhead bridges could be the answer in Tram Road if funds can be made available. In the meantime we could minimise the danger by reducing the speed limit to 40km per hour within the Activity Centre boundaries similar to what is required at school frontages which seems to work okay throughout the metropolitan area.

      • Ted Again says:

        A Pedestrian bridge will not work because you need longer lead up areas on both sides of the road to conform to gradient requirements for the disabled, the same problem would be encountered with a subway.
        There are traffic lights planned at the Merlin Street T intersection where a pedestrian crossing could be included rather than a crossing on its own. The same could apply at Frank Street but it would be a more complicated light sequence because of the traffic “dog legging” from Eildon Street into Tram Road then turning right into Frank Street.
        I had read in several Doncaster Hill brochures that Doncaster Hill was to be a destination and not an area you would drive through …how could they say that when you have two major arterial roads, Doncaster and Tram Roads, running through its centre!

  2. Reg Walters says:

    With the two major arterial roads running through the activity centre attention should have been directed towards reducing the barriers currently presented to pedestrians. The function of the centre depends on connectivity along pedestrian routes to the retail, commercial and public transport opportunities in the area. Unfortunately this has not happened but still they continue to promote the walkability of the area!

  3. Tracy says:

    A tombstone mentality is the term commonly used in regard to aircraft safety where defects are not fixed until passengers are killed or seriously injured in crashes, but this state of mind is not peculiar to the aviation industry alone because it can also happen in road safety systems when pedestrian crossings don’t get built until there are fatalities.

  4. Doug Newington says:

    Manningham Council wants a reduction in the volume of cars passing through the area and for more people to use the bus. They want cycling and walking to increase from about 20 per cent up to 30 per cent in the next two decades. Yet, except for the small area around the Civic Centre, there are no dedicated paths for cycling, so in order to bring the percentage up cyclists will have to ride in the bus lanes or on footpaths. Increased walking will be even more challenging because of the steep topography of the area and the provision of too few pedestrian crossings.

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