17 March 2017

Another traffic count, with important visitors

Yesterday morning WHEN and the Lansdowne Primary School community conducted another traffic count along Hill Street, West Hobart.  Members of Parliament,  Hobart Aldermen, traffic management staff from the City of Hobart and reps from nearby affected schools were invited along to observe the phenomen and to discuss solutions.

All the visitors were amazed by the volume of traffic and its speed.  Standing outside the butcher's on the corner of Hamilton Street, we could even see the stream of vehicles coming from Mt Stuart and heading in our direction. Some near misses were observed around the Hill St Grocer, and there was an actual collision outside the Post Office at the other end of Lansdowne Crescent. 

Here are the key numbers showing the activity on Hill St between 8am and 9am:

Line across Hill St from the Pharmacy, corner Pine St
Line across Hill St from the P.O., corner Patrick St
Line across Hill St from the Butcher, corner Hamilton St
Total vehicles passing the “laser line”
(includes 10 bike commuters)
1284 *
(includes 1 bike commuter, who had resorted to the footpath)**

Adult pedestrians crossing Hill St
Child pedestrians crossing Hill St
(all were accompanied by a parent)
Total pedestrians crossing Hill St

*A collision occurred at 8.50am, causing a blockage and a number of vehicles turned around to avoid the delay.

** Bike commuters heading to the city would cut through via Bonnington Rd or Forbes Ave to get off the rat run and down to Goulburn St.

These numbers of vehicles and pedestrians more than satisfy the minimum requirement accepted by the Department of State Growth for installation of a proper Pedestrian Crossing (i.e. zebra crossing), which the community has been asking the Council for for some time.

Think about these numbers!  With 1200 vehicles per hour streaming down Hill St in the peak hour/s, and many of the drivers trying to attain the stated speed limit of 50 kph, it is difficult and nervewracking for fit and able people to cross the street.  It is downright scary for anyone under the age of 12 or over the age of 70 or with limited vision, cognitive ability or movement.

As it is largely a steady stream, 1200 vehicles per hour means 20 vehicles per minute, means a vehicle every 3 seconds.  That means the pedestrian has an average of 3 seconds to scamper to the median strip, and 3 seconds to scamper to the opposite footpath.  

So naturally we didn't see any young children walking to school on their own, they were all accompanied by a parent (walking or riding) or were passengers in vehicles (adding to the congestion). 

Many of the pedestrians trying to cross Hill Street yesterday morning, or simply passing by, took the opportunity to ask our visiting Aldermen or Members of Parliament what they were going to do about making it safer to cross the street. 

WHEN believes that a key to making our streets safer is speed. Lower speeds reduce the tension on the street, encourage better driver behaviour (such as courtesy!), help pedestrians and bike riders to use the street with more confidence, and reduce the risk of injury or death should a collision occur. 

Council is about to consider recommendations from its traffic engineering team on safer crossings on Hill Street.  WHEN's preferred solution has been stated on many occasions, but we are not holding our breath for this.  We expect that the proposed engineering interventions will, at the very least, act to reduce average speeds on Hill Street and not increase risk for bike riders.  

Want to see how long we have been raising these issues?  Check out previous posts in the WHEN blog:
Outcomes of the community workshop Nov 2016 
Update August 2016
Update April 2016 
And older posts...

Counting vehicles and pedestrians, cnr Patrick St

Counting pedestrians, cnr Hamilton St

Counting vehicles & pedestrians, cnr Pine St

1 comment:

  1. Well there is another Hobart traffic problem its now starting to affect the back roads now to avoid congestion in the city this is the back way out of Hobart to miss the blocked so called Hobart city