Media Briefing - Burke Road North Pedestrian Safety Rally on National Walk Safely to School Day - May 15 200915 May 2009
East Ivanhoe Walking Action Group
WALK SAFELY BURKE ROAD NORTH ROUNDABOUT
15 May 2009
Why are we here?
· We are here to highlight the safety risks residents’ are exposed to, in trying to cross this intersection.
· Children are constantly dodging the traffic at peak hour, the elderly, and mums with prams are hoping that someone will stop to give them enough time to cross. This has got to stop.
· Many residents have individually expressed their concerns to The Banyule City Council, State Government and VicRoads through letters and phone calls for over 20 years.
· Despite this, no ACTION has been taken.
· We have been promised reviews, which have not been delivered.
· When approached, The Banyule City Council has argued that VicRoads is the Responsible Authority. VicRoads has said that nothing can be done until it has received a referral from The Council. The State Member for Ivanhoe has asked the State Transport Department to investigate the issue in 2002 and 2008. No responses have been made on the public record.
· We are here to show that collectively, the Eaglemont/East Ivanhoe COMMUNITY have had enough of the bureaucracy. We want action NOW.
Why is it important?
· Residents are unable to access immediate amenities such as schools, pre-schools, maternal child health centre, shops, transports and other community infrastructure.
· Residents are forced to use their cars to cross the intersection and access these amenities that are all of 100 meters down the road.
What do we want?
· We want to be able to cross this intersection safely. We believe a pedestrian activated stop-light is required, as drivers do not stop prior to entering Burke Rd North.
· We want all three Authorities to recognize that THERE IS AN ISSUE and work together to FIX the issue NOW.
What we don’t want?
· We don’t want to wait for someone to die before action is taken.
· We don’t want to wait another 20 years for something to be done.
· We don’t want more promises to investigate the issue that amount to nothing (see overleaf for details).
· We don’t want reasons why it can’t be done, particularly with statements that suggest that cars come before pedestrians and the local community.
What we have been told so far:
1. We don’t make the warrants
VicRoads has told us in the past that they would have to compare the number of pedestrians with the number of cars using the road. If we don’t have enough pedestrians to match their ratio, then we would not warrant a pedestrian crossing. Pedestrians would slow the traffic flow.
Our response: this is a circular argument. Pedestrians demand is directly impacted by the lack of safe pedestrian crossing. If a safe pedestrian crossing was available, more pedestrians would use it. Irrespective of this, safety is paramount, and therefore whether its one person or ten thousand people, the three Authorities have a responsibility to ensure that pedestrians are able to cross the intersection safely.
Furthermore, a pedestrian crossing would improve the safety of all road users, as it would provide clear instructions to both cars and pedestrians.
2. We consulted the residents, and a property owner has objected
This reason was given to us as to why the Responsible Authorities may object to the pedestrian crossing.
Our response: a single property owner should not determine the safety of all pedestrians. This is why we have Responsible Authorities, governing for the population (broader good), and not for an individual.
On process, we asked for the outcomes of this consultation. The Council does not have any documentation on this matter.
3. Investigations have been requested
In 2002, the CEO of VicRoads stated in a letter to State Member for Ivanhoe Craig Langdon, that they would, in conjunction with the City of Banyule, ‘investigate the operation of the roundabout to determine possible improvements, including suggestions for traffic signals’. The review was to be completed in October 2002. The Council has confirmed that they have no record of the investigation-taking place. VicRoads has not responded to our enquiries for the report.
In 2008, State Member for Ivanhoe, Craig Langdon asked Minister for Roads Tim Pallas to have his Department investigate the issue. We have not received any news from this investigation.
Our response: It is unclear whether the investigations have actually taken place. Two official requests have been made over 7 years, and we are still campaigning for action. This time, we won’t rest until a safe pedestrian crossing is put in place.