The full build out at Doncaster Hill was not expected to return traffic volumes on Doncaster Road to anywhere near the levels that existed prior to the extension of the Eastern Freeway but these predictions were based upon a much smaller development, approximately 40% less than what has now been approved.
The consultants Manningham engaged did insert a condition: “A strategy based largely on car dependency (or existing travel patterns) to service future development is likely to return back to pre-1997 congestion levels on main roads through the study area. However, the performance of these scenarios is unsatisfactory in the bv critical PM Peak periods and as such demonstrates the need to accept a lower development density if travel behaviour is not changed”.
The estimated 4,000 dwellings first planned have been increased to close to 6,500 and in addition the Westfield Shopping Centre extension, recently approved, will be three times larger than at the time of the study. The hardware giant Bunnings will build a Hotel along side its store plus two seven storey apartment buildings on its eastern boundary
Based on the original development Doncaster Road traffic volumes were expected to drop in the order of 50-60% after the freeway was extended. Now with the massive expansion there will be all sorts of problems associated with access to buildings on the southern side of Doncaster Road which will require extra road space for U turns. Likewise accessing the two retail giants, the seven storey Hotel and apartment buildings to the North.
The model results on the smaller development showed that these post-freeway extension traffic volumes were not expected to increase significantly due to more people cycling and walking and a planned improvement in its transport system. An aim of the the Doncaster Hill Strategy was to satisfy as many person trips as possible by walk and cycle modes.
The development of a unified vision or masterplan of pedestrian and cycle networks with associated guidelines to shape future development proposals to be consistent with a long term plan have not materialised. The lead up streets were not suitable for dual paths because of safety concerns due to the steep gradients of area and difficulties with insurance cover. Even though these problems were known to council from the very beginning it did not prevent Manningham from promoting the strategy for more than ten years and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process using glossy brochures to impress overseas buyers purchasing off the plan…….sight unseen!
It is an offence for anyone over the age of 12 to ride a bicycle on the footpath.
However, the Australian Road Rules allow the authorities to create a Shared Bicycle Path (SBP) and invite all cyclists to ride upon them.
Few if any Councils have undertaken detailed (independent) risk analyses or pedestrian safety audits
- There are no speed limits
- There is no offence for speeding on a bicycle in Victoria (and most other jurisdictions)
- The only offences the authorities can prosecute are “ride, negligently, recklessly, or furiously”. Penalty $54. These offences are very difficult to prove and enforce, especially as there are no speed limits.
- There is no insurance. Pedestrians hit by a cyclist on a SBP have no claim against the Motor Accidents Authority as they would if they had been hit by a motor-vehicle.
- Cyclists are not required to display number-plates or be licensed and are almost impossible to recognise especially when most are wearing helmets and sunglasses.