Wednesday, April 30, 2008

50km/h - vicroads say no, will pallas say yes?

I have decided to take up the challenge of getting some consistency around speed limits in our townships. This issue has come about after significant ongoing community concern about speed limits and pedestrian safety in Selby and Kallista.

Currently Selby and Kallista have 60km/h speed limits, this is too fast for these townships. When I investigated the issue further it seemed that a number of townships throughout the shire have the same issues.

After being completely frustrated with responses from Vic Roads I moved a motion that council write directly to the Minister for Roads and Ports, The Hon Tim Pallas MLA to see if we could finally get some support for lower speed limits.

"Many of our arterial roads, which are the responsibility of VicRoads, have been constructed to rural standards and have not kept pace with development and increasing traffic volumes. These increased traffic volumes and associated speeds present significant risks to children and adults crossing roads to access bus stops, shops and community facilities, particularly in township areas.

Our community often experiences seemingly perplexing responses to requests for lower speed limits, refused by VicRoads on the basis of providing preference for through traffic over local community safety needs. In the mind of the community, these decisions do not often correlate with recent government initiatives for improving community safety such as the reduction of the built-up urban speed limit to 50 km/h, school speed zones of 40 km/h and metropolitan strip shopping centres speed zones of 40 km/h.

The Shire has previously received support from VicRoads for the installation of 50 km/h speed zones on arterial roads through the townships of Belgrave, Healesville, Lilydale, Monbulk, Olinda, Seville, Yarra Junction, Warburton and Wesburn.

These speed limit reductions have been greatly welcomed by the local communities, however upon further application to VicRoads for similar reductions on arterial roads through other townships across the municipality the Shire has received a response that no further reductions will occur until a review of metropolitan strip shopping centre in town centre speed limits has been completed. These requests for further reductions date back to May 2003."

This photo of Belgrave-Gembrook Road, Selby was taken on a Tuesday at midday. This is not a quiet little rural lane, I would like to see how someone from VicRoads negotiates crossing the road with young children in tow. Do we have to wait for a fatality before we see some change, I hope not.

This is a very important community safety issue, many members of the community have asked numerous times for the speed limits to be reduced, but all to no avail. I hope the Minister will support our request and we will see a consistent, sensible and safe approach to speed limits throughout our townships.

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