Thursday, December 8, 2011

VicRoads updates turn times at Hawtin Street and Foote Street Templestowe

A number of residents have expressed issue with the recent upgrade to Foote Street near Hawtin Street, which was done to give priority to buses. The problem in the upgrade is it is now very difficult for local residents to exit Hawtin Street and turn right into Foote Street.

The problem is VicRoads removed the median strip which enabled cars to move into the centre of the road and then move into the Foote Street lanes heading West. Now cars have to try to dart across up to across five lanes of traffic which is near impossible and very dangerous.

Initially turning right from Hawtin Street into Foote Street was banned altogether. This has now been changed to ban turning right between the hours as shown on the sign.

I checked the road today and I believe VicRoads have done a terrible job with the upgrade. If you check the picture of the road you'll see there is still room for a median strip, but because of the large kink in the road markings there is no longer room for the median strip.

All that would be required is to reduce the angle at the start of the bus lane and straighten the lane so that it marries in better with the kerb in the centre of the road and there could be enough room for cars to exit Hawtin Street and move safely into the middle of the median strip.

However I don't see this happening as our government appears only interested in their own assets which is the public transport system, at the expense of the 85% of residents in the area who do no use public transport.

Public transport isn't good for short trips to any of the local shops when it costs $2.90 for a zone 2 metcard and a trip to the bank in Doncaster Road, which takes about 8 minutes by car, takes around an hour by bus.

VicRoads' preferential treatment of buses over the needs of the 85% of local residents who drive on the roads, has produced a very poor modification to the road system for the majority of users. Bicycle lanes have also been removed in both directions and now with the narrower roads, it is only a matter of time before a serious bicycle accident occurs on Foote Street.

A final observation is VicRoads now allows cars to do a U-turn just after the median strip ends and well before Hawtin Street. This is a good change but I feel the road is so poorly marked that if you didn't know about the changed line markings, you wouldn't know what you could or couldn't do.

Whilst this looks OK in the picture, the gap is only small, there is no indication you can do a U-turn. The arrow has not changed and there is a no U-Turn sign facing the driver on the next median strip. The road markings should be updated with a more obvious arrow indicating a U-turn can be made, perhaps a sign at this point indicating a U-turn, but I also feel the gap needs to be widened to make it more obvious.

In summary, even with the changes performed by VicRoads, this is a very poor result for hundreds of local residents. The shortest route from Hawtin Street in peak times is to turn left and then do a U-turn close to the crest of a hill, a poor location for the U-turn. Alternately to exit Hawtin Street at the Northern end into Porter Street and wait in an often long queue of cars who are taking the short cut through Hawtin Street to go to Eltham. I recently exited with around 4 cars in front of me. Not one was using the left lane and all wanted to go North to Eltham. The left lane in Porter Street was empty but it was not possible to exit Hawtin Street easily with the cars using Hawtin Street as a shortcut. Those exiting Hawtin Street in peak times will now travel an additional 600-800 meters and face extended delays. All because of the bus being given priority.

Kelvin Eldridge

1 comment:

JustLocal said...

I have now submitted a request to VicRoads to review the line markings to reestablish the median strip area for cars to be able to pause at when exiting Hawtin Street into Foote Street.

I'd suggest anyone affected by the bus lane that you should make the effort and make your voice heard. Most people do nothing but complain. Don't be one of them.

If nothing gets done and you don't do anything you only have yourself to blame.

Kelvin Eldridge