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Longer pedestrian-crossing times plus lower speeds

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Longer pedestrian-crossing times plus lower speeds

Postby Roderick Smith » Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:06 pm

Plan for drivers to wait longer at traffic lights to help elderly.
Herald Sun September 7, 2016.
MOTORISTS would be forced to wait several seconds longer at red lights, to allow elderly pedestrians extra time to cross, under a radical road safety plan.
Some speed limits would also be slashed to 30km/h under the Victorian plan to curb seniors’ road deaths.
Give-way laws would also be overhauled to require drivers to give way not just to cars but also to pedestrians.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you agree with the road safety plan? Tell us below.
Under the plan, cars would be halted at every pedestrian crossing for at least three seconds longer than they are currently, and as many as seven seconds longer, depending on the width of the road.
The bold push, being spearheaded by pedestrian safety group Victoria Walks, follows research that has been supported by the Transport Accident Commission and VicHealth.
Jacquie Brierty, from Avondale Heights, crossing at Flinders St. Picture: Alex Coppel.
Crash data on older pedestrians reveal an average of 17 deaths, 147 serious injuries and 114 other injuries each year, costing the state’s economy $110 million per annum.
Measures to improve safety for older pedestrians in the report include:
A BETTER connected footpath network to allow the elderly to walk away from traffic; REDUCING speed limits, more 40km/h zones, and allowing councils to apply for 30km/h speed zones; CHANGING the give way rule so drivers must give way to pedestrians unless on an unrestricted through movement; RAISED pedestrian crossings at intersections and roundabouts to reduce car speeds; IMPROVED footpath surfaces so they are non-slip and without cracks, to eliminate trip risks at kerbs; INSTALLING automatically operated pedestrian signals; REDESIGNING crossings so seniors can cross in stages; CHANGING classifications of carparks to shared zones, giving pedestrians priority.
An elderly couple cross at Flinders St. Picture: Alex Coppel.
The report recommends crossings be redesigned to accommodate walking speeds of 0.9m per second rather than the current design standard of 1.2m per second.
That would mean on a 10m wide crossing, the pedestrian lights would be activated for three seconds longer; on a 25m wide crossing, it would be seven seconds longer.
The report also suggested using sensor detection technology to adjust phasing of signals to respond to a slower pedestrian, so older people are not stranded in the middle of the road.
Victoria Walks executive officer Dr Ben Rossiter told the Herald Sun: “There needs to be a zero tolerance for drivers who block intersections, don’t give way to pedestrians, and drivers who speed.”
Dr Ben Rossiter of Victoria Walks.
He said the report should work as a long-term guide to improve pedestrian safety.
“Funding needs to be increased to make better infrastructure, to make roads safer. We really need to start protecting senior pedestrians because they are the most vulnerable of our road users,” Dr Rossiter said.
A VicRoads spokeswoman said traffic signals operated on a programmed sequence to optimise the “walk” time for different road users.
“Altering pedestrian walk times reduces the flexibility for the signals to be altered to manage traffic flow,” the spokeswoman said.
TAC road safety acting senior manager Elizabeth Waller said that creating a safer pedestrian environment was a priority.
The research revealed most older pedestrians were hit by right-turning motorists at intersections, mostly in 50 and 60km/h zones.
From 2004 to 2013 over-70s were 10 per cent of the population but accounted for 33 per cent of pedestrian fatalities.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victor ... cce686b0a6 39 comments, virtually all hostile.
September 8 2016 - Melbourne 'Age'.
Drivers to wait longer at red lights under pedestrian safety plan

Motorists could be forced to wait longer at red lights to give older pedestrians more time to cross, under a proposed road safety overhaul.
Speed limits could be reduced to 30km/h, and drivers required to give way to pedestrians as well as cars, in a bid to curb the number of elderly pedestrian deaths on Victoria's roads.
Dr Ben Rossiter, executive officer of Victoria Walks, at Flinders Street. Photo: Eddie Jim.
A strategy proposed by pedestrian safety group Victoria Walks recommends stopping cars at pedestrian crossings for up to seven seconds longer than they are currently, depending on the width of the road.
Crossings would be redesigned to accommodate walking speeds of 0.9 metres per second rather than 1.2 metres per second.
People aged 65 and over account for 39 per cent of pedestrian fatalities.
That would mean pedestrian lights at a 10-metre crossing would be activated for three seconds longer, while lights at a 25-metre crossing would be activated for seven seconds longer.
Also among the ideas is a system known as a PUFFIN crossing, which adjusts the phasing of crossing signals to respond to a slower pedestrian, so older people are not left stranded in the middle of the road when the traffic lights turn green.
People aged 65 and over make up 14.6 per cent of Victoria's population, but account for 39 per cent of pedestrian fatalities.
Older pedestrians experience an average of 17 deaths, 147 serious injuries and 114 other injuries each year, costing the state an estimated $110 million per annum.
Crash data reveals that of those older pedestrians who are hit, most are struck by motorists turning right to exit an intersection, mostly in 50 and 60km/h zones. In that scenario - and many others - the driver was legally required to give way, but failed to do so.
Victoria Walks executive director Dr Ben Rossiter said: "Older pedestrians are not risk takers. It would appear they are hit by drivers who don't know the road rules or ignore them, don't see them, or simply expect them to get out of the way.
"Instead of telling older people to 'take care' when they are walking, we need to design streets that take care of them."
The report also recommends:
•Installing raised pedestrian crossings, or designated pedestrian bridges.
•Installing median strips or pedestrian refuges so seniors can cross in stages.
•Installing kerb extensions to make crossings shorter, and emphasise that drivers are required to give way when turning.
•Fully controlling right turn signal phases.
•Altering the geometry of intersections to promote the slowest possible turning speeds by vehicles.
•Safer standards for driveways to indicate priority for pedestrians and provide physical clues for drivers.
However, VicRoads is not convinced by the push for longer wait times at pedestrian crossings.
VicRoads director of journey services Sameem Moslih said the organisation had no plans for a blanket increase in pedestrian walk times.
"I wish it was that simple ... [but] we're talking about a really fine-tuned, integrated network, where all these signals are talking to one another and a change in one location actually has flow-on effects elsewhere," he told radio station 3AW on Thursday morning.
"There's a need to optimise the entire network."
He said the safety of older pedestrians needed "a great deal more thought".
"But we've got to be very considered in terms of what we do, and what we can do," he said.
At least 16 per cent of all crashes involving older pedestrians occur on footpaths, driveways, or entrances to car parks, the report shows.
"It is lamentable that so many of our most vulnerable pedestrians are hit on footpaths, precisely where they should be the most safe," Dr Rossiter said.
"The number of people aged 65 and over is expected to almost triple in the next 40 years. It is imperative we do something now, or it will mean more death and injuries in the future."
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/drive ... rbb9p.html

Victorian pedestrian crossing delay plan to help elderly hits red light.
Herald Sun September 8, 2016.
THE brakes have been slammed on a drive to make motorists idle at traffic lights longer to allow pedestrians extra time to cross the road.
But the State Government vowed to look at other options to boost pedestrian safety around intersections.
It comes as Victoria Police was told to start targeting reckless drivers at crossings and not just jaywalkers.
There have been 27 pedestrian deaths this year — compared to 29 deaths at the same time last year.
The Herald Sun today revealed details of a road safety plan encouraging a raft of measures, to curb pedestrian road deaths in seniors.
WAITING LONGER: Radical plan for drivers to wait for walkers It included cutting speeds to 30km/h in some areas, changing giveaway laws requiring drivers to give way not just to cars but also to pedestrians and leaving the “green man” on for longer to allow older pedestrians more time to cross the road.
But Roads and Road Safety Minister Luke Donnellan put a stop sign to the plan being pushed by pedestrian safety group Victoria Walks, “Traffic signals operate to maximise the safety of all road users,” he said.
“We are not currently considering a blanket increase in pedestrian walk times. However, we consider the safety of intersections for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists on a case-by-case basis.”
Victoria Walks executive officer Dr Ben Rossiter said policing should focus on driver noncompliance.
“The police response usually is jaywalking blitzes but that’s not the cause of most crashes,” he said.
The research revealed most older pedestrians were hit by right turning motorists at intersections and most were in 50 and 60km/h zones.
Premier Dan Andrews said rather than reducing crossing times, benefits could be gained from having wider traffic islands on new roads.
“I think there’s some commonsense reform we can make but let’s not undermine an integrated network — that would not benefit anybody,” he said “It’s an integrated system and you can have very significant impacts on traffic flow and ultimately safety if you make the wrong call.”
Crash stats on older pedestrians reveal an average of 17 deaths, 147 serious injuries and 114 other injuries each year.
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victor ... 52d2b60bf0

September 7 2016 - Melbourne 'Age'.
Melbourne Metro Rail Project: Council calls for 40kmh speed limit on St Kilda Rd.
The speed limit on St Kilda Road should be dropped permanently to 40 kilometres an hour, an inner city council has told an inquiry into the proposed Metro rail tunnel.
And Port Phillip Council also believes there is an "embarrassing" number of bicycle parking spots to be included in the proposed Domain metro station.
The government says the $10.9 billion Melbourne Metro Rail tunnel is designed to relieve City Loop congestion in the CBD. (Video supplied by Melbourne Metro Rail).
The council's development manager Claire Ferres Miles on Wednesday morning told the hearing into the $11 billion rail tunnel's environmental effect that the speed limits on the road should be dropped permanently when the project is complete.
St Kilda Road is mostly 60kmh, although the section from the National Gallery of Victoria to Princes Bridge is 50kmh, and from the bridge to Flinders Street it is 40kmh.
The Metro Tunnel project will see a new rail line built under central Melbourne, from South Kensington to South Yarra.
A major new station will be built on St Kilda Road, near its intersection with Domain Road.
The construction of a new Domain station and higher pedestrian and cyclist numbers in the area after the Metro Tunnel is built meant the speed should be dropped along its length, the council argued.
Ms Ferres Miles said the location of schools in the area meant lowering speed limits were needed.
Port Phillip Council says higher pedestrian and cyclist numbers in the area after the Metro Tunnel is built means a 40kmh limit would be better. Photo: Leanne Pickett.
"It is particularly appropriate given the vicinity of Melbourne Grammar School and Mac.Robertson Girls' High School and the high level of pedestrian traffic that is projected in this precinct," said Ms Ferres Miles, who previously worked for the state government's transport department.
Ms Ferres Miles also said in the council's presentation that there were serious concerns about the number of trees on St Kilda Road that would be cut down to build the metro tunnel.
The number to be lost was "unacceptable", she said.
"This loss of trees is of great concern."
Port Phillip's criticism of the project's impact on trees follows similar Melbourne City Council questioning this week.
On Tuesday, the city council warned of the potentially "catastrophic" impact of shallow tunnel construction methods underneath the Domain.
Ms Ferres Miles also said that the proposal for just 25 metal hoops to lock bicycles to at the new Domain station was "embarrassing".
"There are a number of characteristics of Domain station which will mean it will be a highly desirable location for cyclists to access the rail network," she said.
"The area of bicycle parking is clearly a policy gap at the state level."
"The City of Port Phillip has an expectation that there will be 400 undercover, secure bicycle parks open on day one of the Domain station, with the provision of expansion to 2000 bicycle spaces," she said.
Ms Ferres Miles said she had recently been part of an Australian delegation to visit the Netherlands to see their bicycle culture, infrastructure and facilities.
"Their public space is highly valued and their greatest issue today is the volume of bicycle parking cluttering their valuable public spaces," she said.
"In the city of Utrecht around their central station they have recently opened an underground bicycle park for 2500 bicycles."
The environmental effects statement hearings continue until October 7.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/melbo ... ramcn.html

160909F Melbourne 'Herald Sun' - pedestrian crossings, comments & letters.
Roderick Smith
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Crowded footpaths

Postby Roderick Smith » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:59 am


Footpaths near Southern Cross station overcrowded at peak hour.
Herald Sun March 22, 2017.
FOOTPATHS around several city centre train stations are in urgent need of upgrades with many peak-hour bottlenecks placing pedestrians at risk of being injured or killed.
Streets around train stations are becoming increasingly overcrowded, particularly during peak, with pedestrians pushed onto roads.
Cafe manager Josie Edden, 23, was killed in February 2015 when she tripped attempting to cross the nearby intersection of Collins and Spencer streets.
The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) says it is concerned about a number of pedestrian hot spots around CBD railway stations, particular Flinders Street, Flagstaff and Southern Cross Stations.
PTUA spokesman Daniel Bowen said many intersections and footpaths around railway stations were poorly designed and the removal of the underground subway at Southern Cross Station has not helped.
“Every day, hundreds of thousands of people come into central Melbourne by train and walk to their destinations, and authorities need to make sure this is quick, easy and safe,” Mr Bowen said.
COMMUTER CRUSH: Overcrowded Collins and Spencer Streets as commuters cross from Southern Cross Station. Picture: Hamish Blair “Measures should include giving pedestrians more green time to get as many people through the crossing as possible on each traffic cycle.
“They should also look at widening footpaths, moving or removing street furniture such as signs, bins and footpath dining, and banning motorcycle parking on busy footpaths.”
At some locations, Mr Bowen said pedestrian scramble crossings, which allowed pedestrians to cross an intersection in every direction, should be considered to save some people from having to cross the same street twice.
He also called for a crackdown on motorists who blocked crossings, largely ignored by authorities, which caused problems not only for pedestrians but also for buses and trams.
“By far the best way of bringing large numbers of people into the CBD is by public transport,” Mr Bowen said.
“As central Melbourne gets busier, it becomes more important to make sure that pedestrian flow in the city centre is as safe and efficient as possible.”
Melbourne City Council last year pledged $750,000 to investigate whether it could open the gates to the underground walkway from the station to Little Collins St.
However, initial investigations found that reopening the subway was not viable and the funds were reallocated.
An airbridge across Spencer St to Bourke St was also suggested in the City of Melbourne’s 2014 walking plan to quickly move commuters out of the station.
Other proposed improvements included widening the footpath on the north eastern corner of Spencer and Collins Sts by three metres, which the council says was rejected by VicRoads.
City of Melbourne spokeswoman Kate Loughnan said it was aware of footpath crowding on Spencer St, particularly near pedestrian entrances to Southern Cross Station.
TOO CROWDED: Intersections and footpaths around railway stations were poorly designed, PTUA spokesman Daniel Bowen said. Picture: Hamish Blair.
“The City of Melbourne investigated reopening the pedestrian subway underneath Spencer St; however it was found not to be viable due to accessibility and safety reasons,” she said.
“VicRoads is responsible for authorising works on Spencer St as it an arterial road.
“Our past requests to widen footpaths on Spencer St were not approved.”
Previous safety improvements at the intersection have included introducing a 40km/h speed limit along this section of Spencer St and increasing the duration of the green pedestrian cycle to allow more people to cross the road.
Vince Punaro, Regional Director Metro North West, said VicRoads was constantly reviewing the operation of intersections within the CBD to ensure they were safe.
“We know that there are large numbers of pedestrians crossing at this intersection (Spencer St) and have worked with the City of Melbourne to improve safety at this location,” Mr Punaro said.
“We remind pedestrians to be alert to their surroundings, always use designated crossings, obey traffic signals and avoid distractions.”
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victor ... e6565362a2
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Roderick Smith
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Re: Victorian Rail & Tram Observations 2017

Postby Roderick Smith » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:00 pm

Melbourne’s most dangerous pedestrians crossings.
Herald Sun June 19, 2017.
•Female signals on crossings make mockery of women’s movement •Push for all Victorian pedestrian crossings to have equal number of male, female signals •‘Green lady’ pedestrian signal switched on in Richmond • Metro tunnel forces rethink of pedestrian crossing at Flinders and Swantson streets A LACK of safe crossings is the top concern for Melbourne pedestrians.
Other concerns walkers have identified in a wideranging survey include drivers failing to give way when ­turning, traffic moving too fast, problems with footpaths and long waits for green crossing men or not allowing enough time to cross.
The narrow Arthurton Rd bridge in Brunswick East, ­forcing walkers and cyclists too close to vehicles, has been voted Melbourne’s most worrying ­location for walkers.
Busy morning pedestrian traffic on the northeast corner of Collins and Spencer streets. Picture: Hamish Blair Commuters cross Spencer St from Southern Cross Station. Picture: Hamish Blair Bikes going too fast in the shared space along Southbank Promenade, not enough time to cross between Flinders St station and Federation Square, and overcrowded and blocked footpaths outside Southern Cross Station are all included in the top 10 biggest pedestrian concerns.
Victoria Walks chief executive Ben Rossiter said more than 1600 people took part in the WalkSpot project.
“That people eagerly contributed and indicated their concerns indicates that we have quite a way to go to make Melbourne safer for walking,” Dr Rossiter said.
“Interestingly, some of the top unsafe spots were very localised with no recorded ­official crashes, which suggests that some people are campaigning to make their ­neighbourhoods even better for walking, which is great.
“They are not satisfied with ordinary, they want to prioritise pedestrian safety on the road network.”
Dr Rossiter said the top rated “safe” spots were a ringing endorsement for places where pedestrians are given priority over cars “The research found that walkers clearly want to see more intersections like ­Flinders and Elizabeth streets, where traffic lights stop all ­vehicles and people can cross in any direction, and places like the Bourke St Mall.”
The pedestrian crossing between Flinders and Elizabeth streets, where people can cross in all directions. Picture: Alex Coppel.
The pedestrian crossing between Flinders and Elizabeth streets is one of the city’s busiest crossings. Picture: Alex Coppel.
The pedestrian crossing between Flinders and Elizabeth streets. Picture: Alex Coppel.
Anthony Aisenberg, Director of CrowdSpot, the company that designed WalkSpot, says its research compared the spots with the most concern against official crash statistics.
“Some unsafe WalkSpot ­locations have a crash history, but most don’t,” Mr Aisenberg said. “This demonstrates that the places of concern to people aren’t necessarily showing up in the crash statistics that ­government agencies tend to rely on.”
Victoria Walks, CrowdSpot and government partners asked pedestrians to record their walking safety concerns through an interactive online WalkSpot map.
VicRoads, the City of Melbourne and 13 other metropolitan councils supported the project.
The10 locations that attracted most pedestrian concern.
www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/melb ... f0a6b45c2c
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