Baris Duzova: North West ward candidate 2020

Responses to Survey Questions from Baris Duzova

  1. What are your most important priorities to increase pedestrian safety specifically in the ward you hope to represent as well as in the rest of Moreland?

Residents have long complained about the conditions of footpaths and walkways, making them inaccessible to many in our community, and about the dangers at popular crossing points. My first priority would be to increase funding for the maintenance and upgrading of existing footpaths. Secondly, we must also focus on allocating new crossing points while maintaining existing ones, and if required updating them. Council must take urgent action on roads & streets under its jurisdiction while we lobby for VicRoads and the State Government to act on points under their authority.

2. If elected, what will you do to help reduce pedestrian road trauma in Moreland?

The first thing we must do is identify hotspots that are of concern, through consultations with the community. Once this has been done, we can formulate individual plans for each hotspot, do we need to create a new crossing, upgrade existing signage & equipment or remove an out of use crossing.

3. What vision do you have to actively encourage older adults to walk in Moreland?

The best things we can do to encourage older adults to walk would be prioritising the repair and maintenance of footpaths to make them accessible for all, increasing the number of benches and other seating options giving them a chance to rest on longer walks, increasing the number of public toilets & taps along popular routes and finally the introduction of new safety measures including CCTV cameras at certain hotspots & increasing lighting to create a safer environment.

4. In what ways should Council increase its investment in the maintenance and improvements to footpaths and other outdoor public infrastructure to reduce falls injuries?

First of all, we need more community consultation to prioritise hotspots which are of particular concern to the community. Secondly, we must also engage in proper maintenance of existing infrastructure and not cut corners which runs the risk of exaggerating costs in the future. Finally, we must look at investing in new innovative materials and designs which reduce both the initial cost and subsequent maintenance costs while providing residents with safe infrastructure.

5. If elected, how will you encourage Council to implement proven street design measures to reduce vehicle speeds?

The council needs to both invest in and lobby for more traffic control measures. Each suburb and each street has different needs so I will not propose a blanket solution here, rather I believe we should consult with the community and agree on solutions that while reduce vehicle speeds and reckless driving do not impede on the residents of the street/area.

6. What measures would you implement to stop speeding near schools?

The current system of having 40 km/h zones around schools is a sufficient measure so I would build up on that by increasing signage to notify both drivers & pedestrians of the speed limit, increase crossing points – particularly supervised crossing points, and look at what other traffic control measures could be used in conjunction with the existing speed limit.

7. What improvements are needed for footpaths to make them safer for pedestrians after dark?

The first thing that needs to be done is increasing the lighting on footpaths, to increase both visibility and safety by eliminating dark spots. This must be followed by upgrades and constant maintenance of the footpaths to reduce any safety hazards that may be present. As mentioned above I would also support the introduction of CCTV cameras in hotspots of concern to the community.

8. The majority of surveyed Sydney Rd. users support the removal of all on-street parking to make way for wider footpaths and protected cycling lanes in both directions. Do you agree with this and if so, how would you work to achieve this if elected?

Removing all on-street parking will be detrimental to both businesses and residents. Businesses need adequate parking to attract customers and the removal of these parking spots would push shoppers to side streets which are already congested. This proposal requires consultations with businesses as well, not just users so that will be a priority of mine. I would be more open to looking at reduced parking spots, particularly to create more accessible tram stops, but never will I support the removal of all parking spots as this will hurt already struggling businesses.

9. What strategies are needed by Council, in collaboration with the State Government, to introduce a driver education campaign in regard to stopping for, giving way and slowing down for pedestrians at intersections, zebra crossings, school crossings and other hot spots?

The best way council can do this would be to actively remind residents of the rules through its media arm, this could be through regular social media updates or including messages in council publications. This would be a cost-effective method as many residents subscribe to the council’s social media pages and read the many publications which are made available by the council. We must also lobby the State Government for increased advertising campaigns and signage which are sure to get the attention of many.

10. As the local population grows, so does local traffic and through traffic. How do you propose to address the competing interests of different transport users i.e. pedestrians, cyclists, private and commercial vehicle drivers and public transport (trams and buses)?

We must find a way to balance out the needs of all road users without compromising on the needs of the different groups. Before we implement measures that seek tor reduce the use of cars, we must ensure that residents actually have the infrastructure necessary to reduce their use of cars. As council and as councillors we must lobby for improved public transport within our area. However, we must also recognise that no matter what we do there will always be resident who are reliant on cars and therefore we must make sure any measures implemented do not unfairly punish them