Monday, August 25, 2008

50kph - a case by case?

Earlier this year I took up the challenge to try and get the speed limits in our townships reduced to 50km/h. I decided to tackle this issue after significant ongoing community concern about speed limits, crashes and pedestrian safety in Selby and Kallista. When I investigated the issue further it seemed that a number of townships throughout the shire have the same issues.

All advocacy attempts with VicRoads have been unsuccessful so after a resolution through council in April, moved by me, the Council wrote to Minister Pallas about the issue detailing my concerns.

“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.......We have had no success in the past gaining 50 km/h speed limits in these townships by approaching VicRoads. It seems that Vic Roads have based their decisions on traffic flow rather than pedestrian safety.”

In July Minister Pallas wrote backOuter metropolitan townships that qualify for a 50 km/h speed zone under VicRoads’ guidelines are those where continuous retail development is present on both sides of the road for at least 200 metres, and where there is significant pedestrian movement and a history of casualty crashes involving pedestrians……I am advised that Belgrave South, Coldstream, Kallista, Montrose, Millgrove, Mt Evelyn, Mt Dandenong, Sassafras, Selby, Tecoma, Wandin North, Wesburn, Woori Yallock and Yarra Glen do not currently qualify for a 50 km/h speed limit under the guidelines.”

"A typical day on the Belgrave Gembrook Road, in Selby. Buses, cars, trucks, parked cars, pedestrians, general store, doctors, mechanics, community house, tennis courts, reserves, preschool, church - all negotiating their way on a very constrained rural road at a 60 km/h speed limit - a recipe for disaster."

The Minister went on to say I understand that VicRoads, in response to the Shire’s request, has agreed to review these towns on a case-by-case basis to determine the need to reduce the speed limit to 50 km/h.”

Let’s hope that VicRoads looks beyond it guidelines and takes into account local concerns. I will continue to fight for 50 km/h in our townships, this issue is raised with me time and time again, it’s something our community wants, it’s something they should have.

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