Addressing road safety

Addressing road safety
Tony Penna

In conjunction with the great news of finally being released from our COVID-19 lockdowns, I was delighted to meet with the Department of Transport to discuss the proposed changes to the City Rd and Power St intersection.

Since my last meeting with them in July they have done a significant amount of work on the redesign of the intersection, which explains all the paint marks I have observed on the footpaths and road during the past few months.

As we already knew, the Minister for Road Safety Ben Carroll made it clear, placard loads and livestock will continue to use these roads as their detour from entering the tunnel.

Therefore, this redesign is to make it safer with a pedestrian focus. The notable changes will be the stop line set further back on City Rd and the most significant being the removal of the Power St median strip and centre traffic light, allowing for a wider turning circle, but to also allow for repositioning the crossing which will go diagonally from the western side of City Rd to a spot several metres back from the eastern corner.

This positioning of the pedestrian crossing is probably the single most important aspect of the redesign as it will (should) take pedestrians away from the corner where there is limited space on the footpath to wait and where trucks frequently mount the footpath.

The measures already in place, such as the auto-on crossing signal and the 10-second delay from when the green man starts to when the traffic is given a green turning arrow will remain.

These are certainly good initiatives which no doubt assist with pedestrian safety at that intersection. Sadly, these works are not scheduled to begin until October 2022.

I don’t think any of this will stop the trucks from riding over the gutter and onto the footpath, but the incidence of it occurring should decrease significantly.

Pedestrians still need to be alert to their surroundings when using that intersection. By no means is this the end of the lobbying by SRA to remove trucks from these roads. They should not be using these roads.

As I mentioned in my column before the accident on this intersection, we had also raised the safety of the Kavanagh and Power streets intersection.

I then also raised this with a meeting with the Department of Transport in July of this year and will continue to raise this with them.

I have a meeting with the City of Melbourne traffic engineers next week to discuss this intersection too. We are hopeful we should be able to get some safety improvements in the not-too-distant future.

During the past month we also made a submission to the proposed changes to the owners’ corporation (OC) regulations, we felt there were a number of areas where these fell short. Hopefully they will find our feedback informative and useful.

On December 1, there will also be amendments come into force for changes to the OC Act.

If you are on your building’s committee of owners or have an interest in all things OCs, then you should find the changes very interesting and giving more power back to the residents.

As you may recall, at our AGM two months ago we had so much interest from the community to join our committee that all positions were filled.

We now have some casual vacancies. If you missed out on nominating at our AGM, or if you have some free time and would like to contribute to your community through our committee, we would love to hear from you.

Please reach out to me to discuss what we do and how you could fit in. I can be reached via email.

Don’t forget to get your entry into our gratitude competition which was launched last month in partnership with Southbank News.

We would like to hear how living in Southbank helped you get through this past year. What raised your spirits and how?

Perhaps it was a new connection you made with a neighbour. Maybe it was something as simple as your view, the barista who made your daily cup of coffee, a daily walking route or a story about a pet.

The more detail you provide, the better. Email your submission (max. 300 words) to SRA by November 21. The top 10 entries will receive a $50 visa cash card and appear in the December/January edition of Southbank News (you may request your entry remain anonymous, initials or first name only).

We are full of hope and relief as Southbank and the City of Melbourne move closer to reopening and look forward to hearing what you are most grateful for this past year. Send your entry to [email protected]. If you are not a member of SRA and would like to support for our advocacy work, then we would certainly welcome you as without members our voice is merely a whisper.

Sign-up via Facebook page or I look forward to once again seeing you all out on the streets and in our parks. Don’t be afraid to say hello if you see me around •

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