After ten years of broken promises from Local and State Governments the residents of Applewood Retirement Village and its surrounding community will at last be able to safely cross Tram Road. Works will be starting on this important road upgrade mid-February and are expected to be complete in May 2021. Tram Road, a four lane divided arterial road which bisects the Doncaster Hill Activity Centre, will remain a hostile environment for walkers because the Applewood lights will be the only pedestrian crossing south of Doncaster Road.
Manningham council also wanted traffic lights at the intersection of Merlin Street and Tram Road but must work with VicRoads because Tram Road is under their jurisdiction. It may be difficult to install a pedestrian crossing there because the service road on the east side is well below the level of Tram Road.
Activity Centres such as Doncaster Hill must not only accommodate all modes of traffic but also provide a pleasant, comfortable and safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists. Unfortunately this is not happening on Tram Road, where, apart from the pedestrian lights at the Doncaster Road intersection, there are no opportunities for pedestrians to safely cross except for the subway at the eastern freeway more than a kilometre away from Doncaster Road. While there are plenty of bus stops on either side of the road, it is extremely dangerous to cross and access them because of the high volumes of traffic which is also causing cyclists to ride on the footpath because there are no bicycle lanes. It is interesting to note that Tram Road is supposed to be part of the proposed metropolitan cycling route. Vic Roads bicycle network in Manningham.
One of the ideals of Activity is that walking should be favoured as the realistic and preferred form of transport for short trips. Currently, in many road situations the pedestrian who is using less of the road, less of the planet’s resources, less imported oil that depletes our balance of trade, that emits less noise and pollution, is not rewarded. Preference goes to single occupants in cars, whose unsustainable choices are favoured when pedestrians and cars meet. The constant provision of more car parking spaces is a classic example of how poor strategy simply favours one choice over another. We need facilities and urban design that support and promote the pedestrian over other transport modes, in those locations where walking is the most cost effective and efficient form of moving people.