Jason Clarke: North East ward candidate 2020

Responses to Survey Questions from Jason Clarke

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?

I believe that we need better planned and safer street crossings particularly at what are known as busy intersections. We need more Zebra style pedestrian crossings located in the appropriate locations to encourage people to walk more often. Make Moreland a walking friendly municipality. 

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

Review all pedestrian accidents over the last 5 years that have required medical treatment and find the common cause denominators to create starting point to address the causation issues. 
Some of the issues could be around speed limits, restrictive speed activation devices such as speed humps not being used. Line of sight for pedestrian and driver. Better signage of intersection management and control of both vehicles and pedestrians. Take proactive, prescriptive action to reduce the chance of similar incidents taking place again.  

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

My vision is to create safe walking pathways around Moreland that older adults can feel safe using. Once these walking pathways are established, it is important to promote these safer path options to older adults so that they are aware that safe pathways have been created with their usage in mind. Examples of these types of paths can be the new pedestrian path that will be built along the Upfield rail corridor from Moreland Rd to Bell Street. Making existing laneway networks more user friendly particularly for older users whilst also retaining the heritage character of the many Bluestone laneways. Widen bike and pedestrian paths along Merri Creek so that there is more space for both kinds of shared path users.  

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?

Council needs to proactively inspect the footpath network on a regular basis (biannually) and utilise its concrete grinding machine more regularly. When areas cannot be grinded back to create smoother paths, take the corrective action required with haste to increase safety. 

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

Good street design should focus on prioritising the safety concerns of the pedestrians rather than the vehicle drivers. All vehicle speed reduction devices should be considered for use to create the most appropriate and sustainable speed outcomes.  

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

The 40km limit within a school’s vicinity is appropriate, however I do not believe that it is enforced with vigour within Moreland. More enforcement is required. 

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

More appropriate lighting with vigilance of whether trees are blocking out footpath lighting of important areas. Having better-designed footpath and road interfaces.  Ensure the paths are as smooth as possible so that the path does not become a trip or stumble hazard. 

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?

 This is a very interesting issue that must also have the Sydney Road traders of Brunswick and Coburg’s support. There will be limits of what VicRoads will allow given that they control the road and trams and buses also use this major thoroughfare. Given how many stop lights and tram stops are on Sydney Rd, I would prefer to make the Upfield Bike path wider and a lot more user friendly for bike riders so that it is seen as a preferred route for cyclists. I know that the survey you are referring to was limited in its community penetration so more community consultation would need to be required to have an outcome that most are supportive of. It is important to consider the needs of all of the residents, particularly those that do not move around freely anymore due to a whole host of reasons.  

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?

Media and social media advertisements targetted at both pedestrians and drivers highlighting exactly what the rules are showing real situations so as to avoid any confusion about the road rules for both groups. Having relevant intersection information that precedes a pedestrian or intersection crossing painted onto the footpath to provide a reminder of what you need to do can further reduce any confusion.   

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)?

Finding the right balance when there is competing needs is always the most difficult challenge. Particularly when there are limited or no alternative options for some of the users and stakeholders. Vicroads will control through traffic on our major roads whilst responding to council lobbying and recommendations. Public transport frequency requires the support of the PT providers. Travelling safely within our local area is the most important priority for everyone, the more vulnerable transport forms must be protected and the transport modes that create the most health benefits and that are environmentally friendly and sustainable need to prioritised. Council needs to continually work with the community to ensure that this is the case. Council needs to always proactively seek to provide an appropriate balance for all of the transport user groups and stakeholders along with those that through disability or family demographic, rely on a form of motorised transport. When we keep working towards having the most equitable, safe and appropriate balance we will be delivering better community outcomes.