20 January 2017

Hobart Transport review - Have Your Say - on Private Transport

The City of Hobart is currently seeking community input on "Private Transport" (this is Module 2 in a package of four modules).  This gives us all a chance to tell Council what we think about walking, riding and driving in our city.

WHEN has put in a submission, and key points from this are included below if any WH residents would like to use them too. 

How to have your say
Note: submissions on Module 2 need to be in by 20 March 2017. 
Your submission can be as long or short as you want. You do not have to answer all or any questions in the Consultation Paper, they are there as a guide.

Onlineuse the Surveys and Forms tab at https://yoursay.hobartcity.com.au/transport-strategy
(if you choose this approach, try skimming through the notes below first)
Email - coh@hobartcity.com.au, with Transport Strategy in the email Subject line.
Post - Transport Strategy
          City of Hobart
          GPO Box 503
          Hobart TAS 7001

The Council’s documents
An overview of the whole transport strategy review process is here:  https://yoursay.hobartcity.com.au/transport-strategy

Consultation Paper 2: Private Transport can be downloaded from the Related Documents Tab on this page: https://yoursay.hobartcity.com.au/transport-strategy

What we said 

General Observations
Climate Change is the critical issue for our city and our time so it should be evident as a thread in all the sections of the document, not relegated to the final brief section. People’s private transport choices are key to reducing emissions and energy use. We recognise that much of the impact of private vehicle use in the city is via the entry or transit of vehicles from other LGAs but we are keen to see the City do everything possible to foster active transport and reduce car use.

Making West Hobart More Walkable  
We are fortunate, living in West Hobart, that distances are short to amenities and there are many short cuts and connecting pathways which make walking and riding to destinations faster and more efficient.  West Hobart is a very pleasant environment in which to walk, with trees and gardens and neighbourly contact. It has the potential to be a highly walkable suburb, with some moderate interventions.

Residents tell us (and advised the recent workshop on walkability held in West Hobart) that barriers to walking in our suburb include:
  • concerns about safety, especially for children crossing the Hill St ‘rat run’ in peak hours. [We have proposed to Council that this be addressed by traffic calming solutions including wombat crossings on Hill Street at each end of Lansdowne Crescent, and signalised crossings at the corner of Hill and Arthur Streets. Also a reduction in speed limits in the whole residential area to 40kph, and outside the schools to 30kph].
  • uneven footpaths – there are many bumps and gaps to trip up mobility restricted or vision impaired residents
  • lack of kerb ramps in some places.  Smooth footpaths and kerb ramps are essential for prams, wheelchairs, mobility scooters, vision impaired, people using walking sticks.
  • lack of seating at bus stops and at regular intervals (eg at 100m intervals may be a best practice)
  • lack of safe crossing points i.e. wombat crossings
    • zebra crossings ensure pedestrian priority
    • ramped crossings assist the aged, people with disabilities and with prams, by smoothing out the bumps and providing better visibility and communication between pedestrians and drivers.  Such crossings would invite people to cross confidently.

Making West Hobart More Rideable
Here again our residents are fortunate that we enjoy short distances to CBD-located destinations, and many streets have low traffic volumes.

Barriers to increased riding include:

  • the hills - electric bikes are a solution to West Hobart’s hills and more and more people are taking them up. This is an emerging sector of the transport mix and needs to be positively encouraged by the City.
  • the traffic volume and speed in peak hours on ‘rat run’ streets such as Hill St. We have previously proposed to Council (on several occasions) that this be addressed by traffic calming solutions including wombat crossings on Hill Street at each end of Lansdowne Crescent, and signalised crossings at the corner of Hill and Arthur Streets. Also a reduction in speed limits, in the whole residential area to 40kph and outside the schools to 30kph.
  • the complete absence of an identified safer bicycle route through the suburb – no bike lanes or signed bike routes are in place. West Hobart is included in the Hobart Arterial Cycle Network as requiring connectivity through to the city. A recommended route through West Hobart is shown on the Hobart Bicycle Map produced by Cycling South. This route needs to be marked and signed as a priority bike route for residents and visitors.
  • Shortage of bike parking hoops at destinations such as shops, parks, bus stops.  To date there are only two locations which have usable bike parking loops – these are the Hill St Post Office (2x) and Smolt Kitchen (2x).  Hill Street Grocer has (finally) installed a loop at its new shop location, but the one loop is badly positioned and usually difficult/impossible to access (hidden behind shopping trolleys and parked cars or delivery vans). 
  • Traffic speed in residential areas is a key issue for riders when they are forced to share the road with drivers.  Where there is a smaller differential between the speeds of the bike and the car using the same road space, this significantly reduces both on-road tension and the risk to the rider’s safety.   We call for speed limits in residential areas of 40kph, and 30kph in the vicinity of schools.

Car parking
We support Council’s approaches to increase the cost of all day parking in the CBD and to reduce its availability.  The next step is to reduce the all-day on street car parking by commuters in the inner suburbs such as West Hobart.  This would improve the residential amenity where there is limited off-street parking, and free up valuable on-road space for dedicated bus or bike lanes, and for traffic calming measures which would make the streets safer for all road users.

Land use planning controls
We support increased urban density in Hobart, especially along key transport corridors.  In West Hobart this would include the bus route and the expected bike paths.  Increased urban density means more residents could readily access public transport to get to work, and walk or use bikes for local, shorter trips.

Council could promote the Green Star energy points system more strongly in its building code, in particular to promote quality end of trip facilities for bike riders.

There should be no minimum parking requirement for new developments, in order to encourage car-free living.

With development applications and new subdivisions, Council should encourage provision and retention of public space for cut-throughs and connections of walking and bicycle networks.  New developments should be required to include quality separate walking and cycling paths as part of their street treatments.

Encouraging multi-modal transport
We support residential small scale versions of Park and Ride – where for example people could park their bikes at bus stops, then jump on public transport or into a friend’s car or carshare.   Bike parking loops or lockers (which offer rain protection and security against theft) could be installed at selected bus stops in West Hobart, to encourage residents to try multi-modal travel. 

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