Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Roads need more than roundabout solutions

A letter in this week's edition of the Northcote Leader highlights the fact that the Government's obligation to provide safe roads extends beyond showcase projects, as the St Georges Road roundabout seems destined to become when it is finally properly addressed.

While there is absolutely no doubt that the roundabout is a dangerous blackspot – especially for cyclists – Nick Hurle's letter highlights the Westgarth Street–High Street intersection as another, possibly more serious, risk to pedestrians, cyclists and traffic.

Then there is the issue of appropriate speed limits along sections of High Street itself. As cars continue to fly through local shopping strips, often running red lights at pedestrian crossings, the Government drags its heels with trials in largely industrial sections where pedestrians are few and far between.

From north to south, protection in the form of clearly signed and vigorously policed forty-kmh zones needs to be in place where the people are – where children cross High Street to go to school, where elderly people and families need safe access to shops on either side of what should be more than a stream of smog and excessive speed. So fix the roundabout by all means, but let's not have our politicians pretend that, by paying limited attention to any one problem, they have done their bit for roads.

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Comments are most welcome on any of the posts at Northcote Independent. I encourage feedback - positive or negative. Feel free to disagree, but remember that posts are moderated to ensure they are on the topic and in the spirit of open debate, as outlined in my editorial policy.