12 September 2015

Hobart Council to seek reports on safer roads

It's been a month since our last update on our campaign to make our local roads safer for old and young, for pedestrians and bike riders.  You'll be pleased to know that your fellow residents and neighbours have been working hard to make some progress on this.  

The six monthly West Hobart Local Area Traffic Committee held in August had a very large turnout, with a strong contingent of residents including reps from Lawrenny Court, Lansdowne Crescent Primary School, WHEN, and Island Tyres.  Three Aldermen (Reynolds, Ruzicka, Thomas) attended to hear our concerns.  A strong resolution was agreed, to be put to the City Infrastructure Committee meeting the following week.

The City Infrastructure Committee received a strong deputation from West Hobart:
 - Margaret Steadman (West Hobart Environment Network)
- Michelle Cunningham (Lansdowne Crescent Primary School Community Association)
- Cynthia Archer and Bill Dalton (Lawrenny Court).
Additional Aldermen also attended this meeting to hear the issues and to contribute their views.

The Committee's primary agenda item concerned traffic issues around the intersection of Hill St and Arthur St, following the opening of the new Hill St Grocer.  Aldermen Reynolds and Ruzicka moved an amendment on behalf of the residents to propose, as part of the solution for this traffic problem, our proposal for a safer West Hobart (with a blanket speed limit reduction to 40kph and installation of a number of pedestrian crossings which would give pedestrians real priority).  
After a long debate, a recommendation was drafted to put to the full Council meeting of the following week.

On 7 September, Hobart Council passed the following motion:

1. A review of the traffic issues identified in the report attached to
Supplementary item 13 of the City Infrastructure Committee agenda
of 26 August 2015, in relation to the new ‘Hill Street Grocer’ store in
Hill Street, West Hobart, be conducted in six months time.

2. A report be prepared on options for safer pedestrian crossings in Hill
Street, West Hobart.

3. The Council investigate a 40 km per hour speed limit for all
residential areas within the Hobart municipal area.

4. The following notes of discussion arising from the West Hobart
Residents’ Traffic Committee, meeting conducted on 19 August 2015
be received and noted:-

(i) Recognising that pedestrian safety is the priority, the West
Hobart Local Area Traffic Committee (LATC) ask Council, as a
matter of urgency, to develop a safe traffic plan for West Hobart
based on the “West Hobart safe traffic zone” map produced by
the West Hobart Environment Network, as tabled at the LATC
meeting, including:
      (a) A suite of traffic calming measures that include defined and
safe pedestrian crossings (such as wombat and zebra
designs); and
      (b) A reduction in speeds to 40 km per hour for Lansdowne
Crescent, Hill Street and Arthur Street.

(ii) The LATC also requests that such a plan be developed in
consultation with relevant community groups, including on-site
consultation with residents at Lawrenny Court. The LATC also
recognises that the development and implementation of such a
plan within a reasonable timeframe, will require additional
Council resourcing.

5. That the report on these issues also consider a traffic roundabout or
traffic signals at the  Hill St /Arthur St intersection and other alternatives
including bike lanes.

As WHEN, the Lansdowne Cres School and Lawrenny Court have been presenting these issues to Council for several years now, and not (in our opinion) having our views respected and acted upon, we are not now sitting back to wait for these studies to be done and reports to be compiled and presented back to a committee meeting.  Reps of these groups are seeking to meet with the General Manager of the City of Hobart next week to discuss how the Council's resolutions can be implemented efficiently and effectively.

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