Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Prioritising the Pedestrian

The Inner West Council 2016 Recreation Study found that Walking was the most popular recreational activity.

Largely designed and built between 1850 and 1940 the pre-car design of our neighbourhoods is conducive to walking. The exetensive tram network also influence development as did the rail lines. Public Transport not only enabled residents to travel it brought workers to the Inner West driving its industrial heritage. 
The tram network may have been destroyed, but buses still largely follow the tram routes. However, since the 1950s the private car has had its impact from the freeways of the 50s to Westconnex.

Governments have prioritised the private car over public transport and shopping malls have been designed to be accessed by motor vehicles.

Yet, despite this people are walking sometimes in very unpleasant situations and at others in quiet pleasant places away from the danger, noise and pollution of the private motor vehicle but also public transport.

So, what are the thing we need to provide to make our city more friendly for pedestrians?

  • Midblock Links and Crossing
  • Shade from the Sun
  • Shelter from the Rain and Wind
  • Safe and Convenient points to cross traffic
  • Comfortable places to rest or wait for public transport
  • Busy places are Safe places - The more people walking along a route day and night makes it safer and more sociable. Isolated places day or night can be less safe.
  • Water to avoid dehydration while walking
  • Public Toilets
  • Consideration during construction or maintenance 

Midblock Crosswalks

Mid-Block Pedestrian Crossings Explained
(Michigan Complete Streets Coalition, 2014)

Midblock crosswalks facilitate crossings to places that people want to go but that are not well served by the existing traffic network...National Association of City Transportation Officials

Speed Limits

We need lower speed limits on many roads in the Inner West. The Balmain Peninsular has a speed limit of 40kmph this should be extended across the Inner West.

City West Link has a staggering 70kmph speed limit!

These Roads have ridiculous 60kmph speed Limit
Parramatta Road, Victoria Road and Liverpool Road through shopping strips and busy bus stops.

Croydon Road, Frederick Street, Darley Road, Johnston Street, Marion Street and Ramsay Street have 50kmph speed limits in busy pedestrian precincts!

Lilyfield Road is second only to the Harbour Bridge with cyclists and yet it has a speed limit of 50kmph

In a bid to reduce the likelihood of pedestrian deaths, motor vehicles shouldn’t be allowed to go faster than 40km/h in high pedestrian active areas – preferably 30 km/h, a new UNSW Sydney study has found.... UNSW, 1 Feb 2019

Noise and Air Pollution

Extraordinary Council Meeting, 3 July 2018: Item No:C0718 Item 15
Subject:Notice of Motion: Improving Cyclist and Pedestrian safety on State Roads in the Inner West LGA.
From: Councillor Marghanita Da Cruz
  1. The Mayor write to NSW Minister for Roads and Maritime Services noting the announcement of funding to increase liveability and safety in urban communities through infrastructure safety upgrades for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users and requesting improvements on State Roads through Residential, Educational, Child Care, Recreational and High Pedestrian Activity locations in the Inner West LGA;
    In particular a reduction in the motor vehicle speeds and improvements in pedestrian and cyclist safety including the reduction of motor vehicle speeds on State Roads in the LGA in particular the following:
    1. The City West Link;
    2. [at] James Street/Darley Road; at Norton Street; at Balmain Road and Catherine Street and the Crescent on City West Link;
    3. Victoria Road and in particular at the crossings at Robert Street, Evans Street and Darling Street, Rozelle;
    4. James St, Darley Road, Foster and Tebbutt Street, Leichhardt including safe crossing points;
    5. Liverpool Road from Elizabeth Street to Frederick Street, Ashfield;
    6. Frederick Street, Ashfield;
    7. Johnston Street, Annandale in particular at Parramatta Road, Booth Street, the Crescent, Annandale Public, Annandale North Public School and Collins Street;
    8. The Crescent, Annandale including intersection with City West Link and Johnston Street;
    9. The major public transport corridor on Parramatta Road from Mallet Street, Annandale to Croydon Road, Croydon; and
  2. Further that the GM request the RMS to carry out an audit of roadside noise and air pollution at the above locations.
The Inner West LGA has a number of very busy state roads pass through our neighbourhoods. Schools and Childcare, Business Precincts and Restaurants are located on these roads making them busy pedestrian precincts and increasingly popular cycling locations.
The NSW Government gave approval to Westconnex Stage 3 in April. This approval included the marshalling of trucks at Whites Bay. The plan involves trucks travelling along City West Link, Parramatta Road and Johnston Street. Westconnex will also induce more traffic on these roads.
The government is also investigating establishing a major construction materials port at Glebe Island, which will also generate truck movements on these urban roads.
"Reductions in the urban speed limit from 60km/h to 50km/h reduced crashes by 25 per cent and injuries by 22 per cent”. “Reasonable speed limits were 30km/h in residential areas, it suggested. In other areas where there were intersections and a high risk of side collisions, 50km/h was appropriate”. - Yes, speed really does kill, says global road safety review, 9 April 2018" : https://www.smh.com.au/national/yes-speed-really-does-kill-says-global-road-safetyreview-20180404-p4z7t1.html
On 10 June 2018 the NSW Government has announced it will spend “$180 million to increase liveability and safety in urban communities through infrastructure safety upgrades for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users” - NSW Budget 2018: A record boost to deliver safer roads, 10 Jun 2018, https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/news-and-events/mediareleases/nsw-budget-2018-a-record-boost-to-deliver-safer-roads
Further, to improve the safety of people in our urban places, the NSW Government has said it will:
"Install traffic calming, pedestrian refuges and crossings in busy urban places across NSW, to improve pedestrian and bicycle rider safety, and reduce casualty crashes.
Partner with local government to expand 40km/h in high pedestrian activity and local areas to reduce crashes and protect pedestrians. Explore options to accelerate safety upgrades at intersections through the Safer Roads Program, including:
• Works that deliver safer and more controlled vehicle turning to reduce the risk of dangerous side impact crashes, especially in locations with older and vulnerable road users;
• An expanded pedestrian protection (green on green removal) program and ongoing review of new technology and signal changes for safer pedestrian and bicycle rider movement;
• Raised intersection platforms, profile treatments, and innovative roundabout designs at more urban intersections to reduce serious injuries. Maximise safety integration in bicycle network programs to facilitate safer movement, provide separation from other traffic, where appropriate, and manage vehicle speeds.”
Source: Liveable and safe urban communities; http://www.towardszero.nsw.gov.au/roadsafetyplan.

Officer’s Comments:

Comment from Group Manager Footpaths, Roads, Traffic and Stormwater:
The cost of preparing these letters is $150 of staff time.
Resolved Extraordinary Council Meeting 3 July 2018. Minutes at https://innerwest.infocouncil.biz/Open/2018/07/C_03072018_MIN_EXTRA_WEB.htm

1 comment:

  1. It's time for walkers to fight back and remind councillors why footpaths are so named. They're for foot traffic, created, presumably, around the time the wheel was invented, to stop pedestrians from being run over.... https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12207584


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