New zebra crossings coming to Balston and Kavanagh streets
A push for pedestrian crossings to be installed at Balston and Kavanagh streets has received the City of Melbourne’s backing, with works to begin in a few months.
The council has confirmed it would put in four new zebra crossings at the intersection, making it safer to access the popular Boyd Park and the newly-built Woolworths supermarket at Melbourne Square.
The installation will also include a crossing at the Balston St and City Rd intersection.
“The works will improve the safety and comfort of pedestrians crossing these streets, by giving them priority over vehicles,” a council notice read.
“We’ll also install narrow road humps, a speed cushion and traffic islands, to further slow traffic near the crossings.”
Residents expressed excitement about the news after having highlighted their concerns about road safety in the area.
“Southbank3006 are delighted to see that the concerns the community have regarding pedestrian safety are not only being heard, but also acted upon by the City of Melbourne,” Southbank3006 residents’ group vice president Jannine Pattison said.
“In 2021 I had the privilege of taking Lord Mayor Sally Capp on a walking tour of Southbank to show her first-hand what we experience every day and [ways to] address the road safety problems pedestrians face in Southbank. It was indeed an eye opener,” Ms Pattison said, which included talks of creating a zebra crossing at Balston and Kavanagh streets.
Ms Pattison said the plan to feature traffic calming measures to reduce vehicle speed were “sorely needed in Southbank” prompting her to pose the question: “Is this the precursor to instigating a low traffic neighbourhood in Southbank? I can only hope so.”
“Southbank3006 would like to thank the City of Melbourne for this improvement in pedestrian safety and we look forward to working together as a proactive, solutions-based residents’ representative as we continue our advocacy for a better and more liveable Southbank.”
Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) president Tony Penna said it was also delighted the council had “finally taken action on these dangerous streets”.
However, he noted SRA was disappointed with how long it took after talks with the council on the issue began before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cr Capp said the council was committed to road and pedestrian safety, and reiterated that $13.7 million from the 2022–23 budget would go towards repairing and maintaining footpaths, roads, and other transport infrastructure.
“We’re doing everything we can to ensure people can move safely around our municipality, whether it’s by public transport, car, bike or foot,” she said.
As part of installing the new crossings, the council will remove one 10-minute parking space in Balston St and one three-hour meter space in Kavanagh St so drivers can better see pedestrians stepping onto the new crossings.
The works are due to start in the next few months. •
Caption: Jannine Pattison and Mary Kay Rauma of the Southbank3006 residents’ group celebrate the news the council will install new crossings at Balston and Kavanagh streets.