Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Traffic congestion around our schools-more support for cycling and walking required

All our schools are under pressure from ever increasing traffic congestion especially around the school grounds during the busy morning and afternoon peak periods. With higher enrolement numbers at most school this issue is one I feel Council needs to address in a more thorough and less piece-meal way.This congestion has lead to many concerns raised about safety and ways to improve how this is managed

Over recent months I have advocated on behalf of concerned parents at both Ormond and Mckinnon primary schools for traffic improvement measures to be identified and implemented- Currently at MPS a second supervised crossing is being installed with works soon to start on a new footpath in Walnut st where presently there is only a worn grass/dirt path that becomes quite muddy in winter.

Our relatively new Sustainable Transport Stategy(see links)recognise this issue and seeks to begin to take action.
The Walking Strategy component lists the following actions-
- audit two schools annually and prioritise any improvements for safety
- monitor school crossings to optimise Vicroad funding
- support initiatives which promote (not fund!)the values of walking such as the Walking Bus Program, Walk Safely to School day and Walk to work day
- promote walking as part of school cirriculum

However in future years I would expect the strategy to be improved upon and be more pro-active across a greater number of schools in providing for and promoting walking and cycling as the preferred means for transport to our schools. This will increase amenity and safety for all parents, students and residents in these areas.

Other councils like Booroondara as I understand have designated sustainable transport officer roles who are consistantly working with schools to deliver these outcomes.

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