Monica Harte: North West ward candidate 2020

Responses to Survey Questions from Monica Harte

  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? 

There will be different priorities in different areas and wards. 

An overall key priority everywhere across wards is trip hazards on footpaths which can occur just on path itself and can also occur where displacement occurs between slabs. I have had several falls myself and so aware how small a change (6 mm height difference) or sinking or hole is a hazard  

A program that helps promote and educate the community about reporting damaged and risky paths would be invaluable, so that there is confidence for the public to report concerns.  

Areas /intersections already considered dangerous and of concern for pedestrians. In the NW the Glenroy /Pascoe Vale Rd intersection would be a priority.  

Lighting for personal night safety, particularly in areas around public transport. In NW ward lighting around Jacana tunnel key issue. 

Identification increased areas for increased pedestrian crossings.

The above underpinned by a system of identifying equitable need across Moreland.

Residents meetings or other forums in the NW would identify many significant concerns I suspect.  

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

Seek input from residents on identifying where pedestrian crossings in busy streets required particularly where people cross for shopping or other facility/amenity, Signage. Identification of areas for reduction of speed limits. 

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

Promotion and creation of walking and walking groups is wonderful for older people who may not otherwise access walking as much as they would like. It promotes exercise, access to community, confidence, and contact. Often community health centres can be the focal point as part of their programmes, or via neighbourhood houses.

The Living And Ageing Well in Moreland Framework has set down the following strategic indicator. 

 Promote pedestrian accessibility and walking Promote pedestrian accessibility and walking through initiatives such as installing and advocating for safer and wider footpaths, pedestrian crossings or developing walking maps with accessibility descriptions*

The framework also establishing Age Friendly Advisory Group. Council’s own framework provides the basis for developing framework to argue for audits rand appropriate budgets. 

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?

An audit of footpaths/ identification of areas without footpaths, would give the Council some idea of real costs required for footpath maintenance. A number of years ago when working in Aged Care I was aware some councils were looking at new innovative ways of laying new paths that would potentially reduce displacement, and hence risk. It was considered cheaper than the grinding, or the replacement of new slabs. 

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

Discussion on council and adoption of proved methods 

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

Increased signage, possible traffic calming, such as speed hump prior to schools, raised crossings, and crossing supervisors , speed reductions are all options  

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

Some areas require better lighting, for personal physical safety and over all visibility plus path visibility. 

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?

There are competing needs and issue of Sydney Rd and parking contentious for a long time because of its narrow width. 

 In principle I would support this.  The challenges would be in implementation 

Some areas have easier access to off street parking than others, some with large parking areas, others limited side streets.  

Sydney Rd is a long road with differing road conditions, that may need different solutions for different areas and stretches.  It will require a lot of negotiation, political will and good will to find workable solutions. Identification of particular problem risk areas re width of street and footpath as a starting point and identifying solutions that resolve the legitimate parking needs of business and concerns of those who may be car dependent may be the beginning. 

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?

There have been State Govn public campaigns in the past around trams/ traffic and safety issues. 

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)?

A key strategy designating roads that need to reduce the amount of through traffic and design of features that seek to limit the level of usage.  

Increased need for public is a key issue, east – west bus frequency, , train  frequency for Upfield a longer term strategy re duplication, cycling routes in NE and NW wards, extended hours for bus services , extension of cycling paths , particularly in in the northern wards