Thursday, February 13, 2014

Willamsons Road, Fitzsimons Lane, Templestowe roundabout upgrade. Will it have been worth the $5.8 million?

When I think about going to Greensborough from Templestowe I shudder. Getting to Greensborough is OK, but coming back means facing a queue which can add 10-20 minutes travel time to a six to seven minute drive.

When I look at the roadworks I can't help feel what if anything it will achieve. Once the roadworks are complete there will be lanes for buses which move around 13% of the population, but what about the other 87%.

Had VicRoads designed the changes for the benefit of everyone and not just the Victorian Government's own transport network we may have seen improvement for everyone. But as it is, and I hope I'm wrong, I really can't see much advantage for the majority of road users.

In fact buses heading east on Porter Street will now have a priority light enabling them to cross Williamsons Road. That can only mean an additional delay for drivers. The second concern is the new pedestrian crossing south of the roundabout. Yes it is needed to provide a safe means for people to cross Williamsons Road, but what happens when the south-bound traffic is held up as someone crosses at the pedestrian crossing. Will the traffic management lights stop vehicles entering the intersection or will we see the roundabout blocked just as we did when the pedestrian lights were used on the north side of the roundabout.

There will be new traffic management lights which hopefully will improve the flow of traffic, but my feeling is, had the government just put traffic lights in and made the changes for all road users and not just for their own bus network, everyone would have benefited.

I hope I'm wrong. Only time will tell if the $5.8 million was well spent and whether it improves the traffic flow. What we need to do is to remember what it was like before the roadworks started. Will the night bank up be as bad as it was before the roadworks. Will trying to exit Hawtin Street to turn right at the roundabout to go to Eltham be the same as before. Will those exiting Hawtin Street to go south on Williamsons Road (since the Foote Street exit for Hawtin Street was restricted) now have a better run. Will picking up something quickly from the Templestowe shops and returning across Williamsons Road still be next to impossible. Somehow I'm not very hopeful. I should say I am hopeful, but not very confident.

Kelvin Eldridge

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