Bad driving on the rise in Brunswick, survey finds

ByVirginia Millen

Congestion, dangerous driving and hazards to pedestrians and cyclists are increasing in Brunswick, a survey conducted by the Brunswick Residents Network has found.

Residents and businesses in the area between Sydney Road, Lygon and Nicholson streets in Brunswick and Brunswick East were surveyed last December and in January this year.

Close to 90 per cent of the 1045 people surveyed said they had witnessed dangerous driving in local streets and more than three quarters of those surveyed believe traffic has increased during the past two years.

Rat-running and damage to parked cars is frustrating residents, with respondents contributing photos and accounts of cars that have been written off or significantly damaged, often by hit-and-run drivers.

Brunswick Residents Network spokesperson Nic Maclellan said the report’s central role was to highlight residents’ views and priorities for action.

While Moreland Council has committed to addressing long-held concerns about traffic and adopted the Brunswick Integrated Transport Strategy (BITS) late last year, Mr Maclellan said funding needed to be allocated now.

“We want councillors to understand the urgency … to realise we need to fund these initiatives,” he said.

Brunswick MP Jane Garrett said she wanted to see the council put its money where its mouth is.

“I’d like to see allocation made within this year’s budget,” she said.

“I think this [survey] is a strong message to the council from a significant group of residents that this is a major issue and needs to be part of budget deliberation immediately.”

Moreland councillor Samantha Ratnam said the council was committed to funding and implementing the short-term and low-cost traffic management items outlined in BITS.

This includes investigating short-term improvements to bicycle safety on Lygon Street, advocating for reducing the speed limit to 40km/h for Victoria and Albert streets – and targeting 30km/h in the long-term – and upgrading the Upfield shared path to conform with the Moreland Bicycle Strategy.

“The BITS has been very formative and that work is really informing what we do in terms of integrative transport,” she said.

“We’re going to be briefed in April about how some of the medium- and long-term projects can fit into the five-year program.”


The Weekly Review

February 24th 2014