03 May 2017

Improvements on Hill St - Have Your Say

The City of Hobart has advertised, for public comment, the next phase of safety improvements on Hill Street, West Hobart.

All residents with an interest in the safety of all road users and and in the general liveability of Hill Street: please read our comments below, go to the Council's Your Say page, read the information provided (the FAQ are worth reading), and either fill in the online survey there or make a written submission to Council.  Below is our summary of the proposal and our comments.

What's in the plans?

The plans show four new "kerb outstand and median refuge island" combos which will be installed as safer pedestrian crossing points on Hill Street:
  • at Hamilton Street
  • at Petty Street 
  • at Allison Street
  • at Faraday Street.
These improved crossing points will enable pedestrians to cross the street more safely at these four locations.  They are now located at intersections, which is good, as most pedestrians choose to cross at intersections rather than in the middle of the block.  Some of the kerb outstands have driveway access points, as they sit across current driveways.  Footpaths will stay at 2 to 2.5m wide.  The kerb extensions are proposed to extend into the roadway at the same distance as the notional parking lane (2.2m).  

The central median refuge will be 2m wide, ample to cover a person with a pram or with a bike.

A central painted median of 2m width is proposed to be extended throughout Hill Street.

It looks like the areas for parking will be marked with either painted boxes or a solid line at 2.2m from the kerb. It seems that a parking space has been removed outside the chemist - that will improve sightlines for all road users at this busy crossing point.

The traffic lanes are proposed to be left at 4 to 4.25m wide.

And Future actions

Council will investigate the safety aspects of installing zebra crossings on Hill Street at each end of Lansdowne Crescent.  "If these can be provided safely, taking into consideration sight distance, bus turning and property constraints, then they will be designed and implemented as soon as possible".

Council will also support the residents to:
  • work with the Department of State Growth to provide safe crossing locations in Hill Street for school children, including the use of adult crossing guards; and
  • organise a local event in Hill Street, with the aim to encourage walking and community activity in the street.

Comments and Concerns

  • The two sections of Hill Street within this plan on the outsides of Lansdowne Crescent (i.e.  Lansdowne to Arthur, and Lansdowne to Cavell) are part of the recommended rideable bicycle route through West Hobart (refer to the Hobart Bicycle Map and the 1995 Hobart Bike Plan).  Bike lanes should be considered on these flat sections, with bike network signage directing riders to go around Lansdowne Crescent, to provide safer cycling space for residents to ride to work and to school.
  • In support of this, the proposed design needs to be adjusted to be ready for the future installation of official bikelanes.   The painted median along these "non-crossing point" sections should be 1m wide (instead of the proposed 2m) - this would provide sufficient road space for the installation of 1.5m wide notional bikelanes on each side.  At the proposed "crossing points", the median refuge island will be OK at 2m wide for protection of people crossing the road, if the kerb outstands can be reduced in depth to 1.2m (from their current proposed 2.2m).  This would enable the notional bikelanes to continue uninterrupted through the potential pinchpoint and would still improve safety at these crossing points for pedestrians. The slight deviation in the travel lane created by the refuge would provide a variety in the lane which would encourage drivers to slow down a little at these points. The 1.5m wide notional bikelane at the crossing points should be marked in green paint to alert all road users to the potential conflict point.
  • This picture illustrates these changes to the proposal:

How we say
the median and kerbs should be revised to support safer bike riding on Hill Street
  • On these same two sections of Hill Street, the vehicle travel lanes should be marked on the road at 3m wide.  This lane marking will visually reduce the effective width of the driving lane. This technique is known to improve the tracking of vehicles on the road and encourages a reduction in the average travel speeds of drivers.  It also provides a more defined space for bike riders, offering some spatial separation from faster moving vehicles.
  • The kerb ramps must be flush (i.e. no lip) to ensure no tripping of bike or pram wheels 
  • There has been ample evidence provided that Zebra crossings at each end of Lansdowne Crescent would improve safety for children and older residents crossing Hill Street.  Zebra crossings provide legal priority for pedestrian road users.  We believe they should be installed as soon as possible, preferably in conjunction with a table ramp which makes them into Wombat crossings.
  • We support the Council's assistance with arranging staffed children's crossings at these two points
  • We support the Council's assistance to create community events along Hill Street.

No comments:

Post a Comment