Sunday, July 14, 2013

Williamsons Road, Fitzsimons Lane, Porter Street Templestowe roundabout roadworks contract has now been awarded.

According to a recent press release on the Victorian Government website the contract for the roadworks and associated work for the roundabout in Templestowe has been awarded.

The contract has been awarded for major improvement works at the intersection of Williamsons Road, Porter Street and Fitzsimons Lane, Templestowe, Minister for Roads and Public Transport Terry Mulder and Member for Bulleen Nicholas Kotsiras said today.... Read More

My real concern for these roadworks is, has the government simply prioritised their own interests over the interests of drivers and local residents. The Williamsons Road/Foote Street roadworks were largely designed to improve the flow of the Smartbus system and as such created problems for locals exiting out of Hawtin Street into Foote. It is now sufficiently dangerous to exit Hawtin Street onto Foote Street that some local residents are scared to do so. The government has significantly damaged the intersection for local residents.

Only time will tell if this is again the government looking after their own interests, or having a more balanced approach that looks after the interests of everyone. Keep in mind that only 13% of locals use public transport (according to statistics from Manningham City Council) so if a greater emphasis is placed on public transport that can only usually be achieved at the expense of drivers.

For me the main concerns I’ve identified so far are the dedicated bus lane which travels west to east on Porter Street, where cars turning left may not see the bus passing straight across which creates a dangerous situation. There is no way for people to safely cross Porter Street at the intersection.

An additional concern I’ve just identified could simply be poor technical drawing ( The problem is a $5.8 million dollar project should not have poor documentation and if it isn’t poor documentation, then it indicates serious changes which could make the roads nearly unusable for many people. The ability to turn right from Porter Street into Williamsons Road has been removed. The ability for two lanes to turn right into Fitzsimons Lane from Porter Street has been removed. This means all cars exiting Hawtin Street to go to Eltham (and there are many during peak times) and all cars travelling along Porter Street (again there is many) will only have a single lane to turn right to go to Eltham. Currently there are two lanes.

- Kelvin Eldridge
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Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

PS. An email request for clarification on the lane markings has been sent to VicRoads. A request to consider providing a safe crossing point on Porter Street near the roundabout was also included.

UPDATE: 1/08/2013
I receive response today from the project engineer. The arrows missing on the drawing available from the VicRoads site were missing and the map with the arrows distributed to local residents with the arrows is correct. In addition a central pedestrian refuge has been added between the two bus stops in Porter Street to the west of the roundabout to improve pedestrian safety.

I've also passed on my concern about the bus travelling west to east on Porter Street to the left of vehicles that are turning left from Porter Street into Fitzsimons Lane. Having a vehicle driving straight through to the left of a vehicle which is turning left creates a potentially dangerous situation and I was wondering if this would be controlled by some form of traffic management signal.

UPDATE: 1/08/2013
I received the following response from the project engineer with regards to the bus lane and some form of traffic management to avoid the conflict of buses going straight through whilst vehicles attempt to turn left.

Buses will be able to call up an exclusive 'B' lantern as they approach the intersection. This will give the motorists on Porter St a red signal whilst the bus enters the intersection.

With the safety issue concern now put to rest, it will be good to use the new intersection as a pedestrian, bus and car user when the works are complete.

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