Sustainable Fawkner teamed up with Climate Action Merribek to preparare this submission to a Legislative Assembly Inquiry into the impact of road safety behaviours on vulnerable road users. It was submitted 19 May 2023.
We started with highlighting problem locations around Merri-bek municipality, particularly in the northern suburbs such as Fawkner. This is by no means a comprehensive list but more illustrative of the many issues facing vulnerable users at specific locations. We then highlighted the need to address infrastructure to address safety and also as a response to reduce transport emissions. We came up with the following recommendations:
Invest in Safer infrastructure for vulnerable road users. Increasing safety for vulnerable road users means investing in safer footpaths, crossings, separated bike paths and protected bike lanes, and where pedestrian and cycling traffic is low, more shared use bike paths.
More Safety signage. It also means that more safety signage at key intersections is used warning drivers of both pedestrian and cycling activity, including early start signage for cyclists.
Driver Education. In the past too much emphasis has been placed on changing behaviours of vulnerable road users for their own safety as part of education campaigns. This amounts to ‘Blaming the Victim’. There needs to be a much greater focus on drivers sharing public roads, with an emphasis on safety, and also encouraging use of cycling and walking for local trips.
Addressing safety of vulnerable road users needs to also address the need to reduce transport emissions. The saftey of vulnerable road users and the need to change mobility behavious to reduce emissions should both drive more investment in active transport infrastructure. As dedicated infrastructure improves there is likely to be a compounding increase of active transport mode share reflecting the improved safety environment for vulnerable road users. This requires a boost to recurrent funding for active transport as a proportion of Transport funding in the Victorian budget
Build safe cycling infrastructure along the Strategic Cycling corridors. Sometime, like the extension of the Upfield bike path beyond the M80, this is entirely new infrastructure waiting to be built.
Increase funding to active transport to 20 percent of the state transport budget, as recommended by the United Nations.
- Merri-bek Council Submission (PDF)
- Merri-bek Bicycle User Group Submission
The Legislative Assembly Economy and Infrastructure Commitee plans to hold public hearings later this year and will report to Parliament in March 2024.Continue reading