Submission to proposed Moreland Council Budget 2020-2021

A joint submission by Moreland pedestrian safety groups:

  • Walk on Moreland
  • Brunswick Residents Network
  • Be Safe Streets
  • Pedestrian Safety for Nicholson Street Coburg


Our submission is primarily concerned with improving walkability and pedestrian safety in Moreland. Moreland is one of Melbourne’s least safe municipalities for pedestrians, and over half of its road fatalities are pedestrians. Concerns about traffic safety are a major impediment to walking. We submit that without substantial spending on these measures, Moreland will be unable to meet its plans to encourage walking, particularly for vulnerable residents.  We recommend the following:

 “Walk the Talk”: budget for walking must match professed support for walking

  • Moreland has many strategies that promote walking. The Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy (MITS) states that Moreland intends to “facilitat[e] a demonstrable mode shift to more sustainable modes of transport”. Yet, safety is a major impediment to walking, and Moreland is one of Melbourne’s most unsafe municipalities for pedestrians. We submit that the Moreland budget must reflect its commitment to reducing barriers to walking. 

Separate out walking and cycling infrastructure, and itemise both

  • That walking and cycling infrastructure be treated as separate budget items, reflecting that these are quite distinct activities, and in the main require different infrastructure.
  • That pedestrian safety projects and path projects be itemised in the budget, as is done for other categories, to ensure transparency and permit monitoring of outcomes.

Address gross imbalance between road versus pedestrian versus cycling budgets

  • That Moreland reduces the budget spent on roads by 40% and re-allocates this to cycling, walking and pedestrian safety infrastructure. (Note: Moreland allocates $9.2M to roads, while Darebin, with similar area, allocates $5.2M.)
  • That Moreland vastly increases funds allocated to pedestrian projects. (We note that the Pedestrian Plan in the 10 year capital works plan currently allocates only $0.32M.)

Don’t slash pedestrian safety budget. Increase it.

  • That the $600,000 removed from the transport management budget (due to deferred expenditure on parking restrictions and the De Carle St upgrade) be restored and reallocated to pedestrian safety projects.
  • That the overall transport management budget be at least doubled (after original funding is restored), reflecting the serious concerns about traffic safety in Moreland, and the growth in commuter traffic using residential streets for rat running. The rate at which Moreland is implementing traffic safety measures is far too slow for such a large municipality. In particular, we are concerned that the budget appears to allocate sufficient funds for traffic calming in only six locations, and the construction of only four raised thresholds.
  • That Moreland construct signalised pedestrian crossings every year rather than every two years. The lack of safe pedestrian crossings is a major impediment to walking.
  • That Moreland expedite the construction of zebra pedestrian crossings in many local roads, and at roundabouts, as recommended by Victoria Walks. Currently only $100,000 is allocated for pedestrian and cycling safety at roundabouts.

Increase footpath and cycleway budgets, and build missing footpaths

  • That the budgets for footpaths and cycleways be separated (as above) and both doubled. We note that Moreland’s budget for both these items is only 60% of that of neighbouring Darebin, despite having similar areas and population. (Moreland: $3.2M; Darebin: $5.3M).
  • That the construction of Moreland’s missing footpaths be expedited, rather than deferred. As examples, we note that Stewart St Brunswick footpath has been pushed back by two years, and that the Louisa St Coburg footpath project has seemingly vanished.
  • That the budget for footpath maintenance be substantially increased to implement a proactive approach is taken to footpath maintenance. Moreland’s streets are full of uneven surfaces and broken access hole covers, which have remained unrepaired for many years. Falls on local footpaths are a major concern, especially for seniors. Footpaths in front of building sites are often broken and hence are particular hazardous. Moreland’s Road Management Plan specifies a proactive inspection system to identify hazardous footpaths, and states: “Where shortfalls [in level of service] are identified, funding will be proposed in future budgets”. We submit there is clearly a shortfall in proactive inspection and repair.
  • That funds be allocated for widening footpaths in dining precincts. This will facilitate social distancing, and more generally improve the ambience of our dining precincts.

Develop a Pedestrian Strategy so competing interests don’t swamp our concerns

  • That Moreland allocate $80K to develop a Pedestrian Strategy, including substantial consultation. Currently pedestrian issues sit under the MITS. It is clear that competing transport interests have taken too much of Council officers’ attention, to the detriment of pedestrian issues. The Strategy should include identifying Principal Pedestrian Networks (PPNs) for the whole municipality. We propose that Moreland also develop a toolkit of pavement designs and standards, similar to those developed by Moonee Valley, Darebin and Geelong. This toolkit would including performance requirements, such as pavement widths, trees, permeability, accessibility, and surface materials. We also propose that Moreland regular collect data on pedestrian numbers.

Allocate funds to make walking and cycling to school safer

  • That Moreland allocate $200,000 per year to make walking and cycling to school safer. We suggest that Moreland use this to fund an “Octopus School Program” similar to Darebin.

Construct seating along pedestrian networks and bus stops to improve accessibility

  • That funding be allocated for seating along Principal Pedestrian Networks, and at all bus stops. A large proportion of Moreland’s bus stops have no seating. We note that the current DDA Compliance budget allows for bus shelter construction only along Albion Street. Lack of seating is a major impediment for elderly residents and those with mobility challenges.

Safe pedestrian access to shopping areas

  • That priority be given to ensuring that pedestrian can access shopping centres safely, using proper footpaths in good condition. An egregrious example is the southern end of Louisa Street Coburg, where pedestrians do not even have a footpath. Similarly, the now-popular footpath along the west side of Nicholson St, leading to the new East Brunswick Coles is in hazardously poor condition.

Street lighting for footpaths

  • That the budget for street lighting be substantially increased to ensure footpaths are adequately lit, to improve safety for women and reduce falls. The budget allocates only $30,000 for street lighting. Sports fields are allocated ten times as much.

Road closures

  • That more funds be allocated to road closures. Recently there has been increased rat running in residential streets, particularly due to navigation apps.

1.    Introduction

We submit that Moreland City Council needs to substantially increase expenditure on pedestrian infrastructure.

Moreland faces a contradiction.

  • Moreland actively promotes walking in many of its strategies, yet
  • Moreland is one of the most unsafe municipalities for pedestrians in Metropolitan Melbourne, with lack of safety being a major barrier to walking, particularly for vulnerable residents.

Moreland has a history of inadequate spending on pedestrian infrastructure. Moreland is also facing challenges from increased traffic. This makes it difficult for Moreland to successfully encourage more walking.

By increasing spending on pedestrian infrastructure to encourage walking, Moreland would be better placed to fulfill its many strategies that relate to walking, allowing our community to reap a range of health, social, economic and environmental benefits. During the COVID stay-home period, people have walked more, with for example 51% walking more for exercise, as shown in the recent Brunswick Residents Network (BRN) study.[1] There is an opportunity to build on these recent positive experiences of walking.

We are concerned that the proposed Moreland budget slashes spending on traffic management. We understand that several projects have been delayed and thus the 2020/21 budget has been reduced by about one-third. Instead, we argue that these funds should instead be re-allocated to urgently needed traffic management and walking infrastructure projects throughout the municipality.

We submit that cycling and walking infrastructure projects need to be treated as separate categories, with the budgets for both categories increased. There is a large backlog of projects, a consequence of years of underspending. Both walking and cycling face issues around safety. If Moreland is to increase the numbers of walkers and cyclists, then increased spending is needed for both walking and cycling infrastructure. We also submit that walking and cycling projects be itemised in the budget, to allow the community to have an input into what is being planned.

Moreland rates are comparatively high. Given the comparatively poor state of our footpaths, it appears that spending on pedestrian infrastructure has been particularly low. We submit that this budgeting imbalance must be corrected.

2.    Moreland must invest in walking infrastructure to fulfill strategies

Moreland has a range of strategies that promote walking. But unless Moreland commits to serious funding to enable vulnerable residents to feel safe while walking, these plans will just be wishful thinking.

Examples of strategies that promote walking include:

  • Moreland Zero Carbon 2040 Framework. This states that “[by 2040] Most people choose to walk or cycle to get around locally because it’s healthy, free, safe and convenient … [and] Moreland is known for its pedestrian and cycle-friendly streetscapes”.
    A key priority for 2020-25 is “Strategic investment in transport infrastructure and streetscape renewal to create walking-and cycling-friendly neighbourhoods and activity centres, which also foster public transport use”.
  • Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy. This states “transport safety is a key focus”. The Council undertakes to:
    • create safer, quieter streets, such as by creating more pedestrian crossings, and closing some local roads to through traffic
    • work with schools to support walking and cycling
    • reallocating space from cars and car parking to walking, cycling and public transport
  • Active Women and Girls in Moreland Strategy. This recognises that walking is the main form of activity for women and girls, but acknowledges that Moreland has no walking strategy.
  • Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan.Outcomes include:
    • Moreland residents have walkable access to ‘everyday’ needs
    • Moreland has an integrated transport system that prioritises and encourages walking, cycling and public transport.
    • Moreland residents are physically active at all stages of life, with Council encouraging walking, cycling and public transport use
  • Open Space Strategy. This document emphasises the need for seniors to have safe places to walk, and seating. It notes that many residents were concerned about traffic flow, inadequate seating and poorly maintained footpaths.

3.    The Case for More Spending on Pedestrian Infrastructure

3.1.  Walking has a range of health, social, economic and environmental benefits

More spending on pedestrian infrastructure enable a range of benefits to be captured. Walking improves physical and mental health. It promotes other pro-social outcomes such as social inclusion, neighbourhood conviviality, liveability and community safety. Choosing to walk rather than drive leads to improved air quality and reduced emissions from vehicles. Local businesses also reap benefits through increased walking, especially to shopping and dining precincts.[2] The economic return on investment in walking infrastructure is estimated as being $13 of benefit for every $1 spent.[3]

3.2.  Safety concerns are an impediment to walking

Moreland’s community engagement for the MITS found that traffic safety concerns were a significant barrier to walking. A particular concern was about safety when crossing the road. Victoria Walks also found that seniors were concerned about falls, with poor quality footpaths being a barrier.[4] Conversely, the BRN Stay-at-Home report[5] notes the ease of crossing roads was often mentioned as a benefit of the shut-down. Women are more likely than men to walk, but feel less safe when doing so.[6] Most school children do not walk to school because of parents’ concerns about road safety.

There is often an expectation that pedestrians must share (often narrow) paths with cyclists, skateboarders and scooter riders. Yet as Victoria Walks found, this sharing of paths is a barrier for senior citizens who walk. We do not think that cyclists should be forced onto dangerous roads – rather, that separate paths be provided, with motorists relinquishing some of the generous space currently allocated to them. 

3.3.  Moreland is one of Melbourne’s least safe areas for pedestrians

Moreland is one of Victoria’s worst municipalities for pedestrians. 54% of road fatalities in the past 10 years were pedestrians. Moreland’s per capita pedestrian road toll is the equal second highest in Metropolitan Melbourne. Compared with the Victorian average, Moreland’s rate of pedestrian deaths and serious injuries are 70% and 54% higher respectively. (Based on TAC statistics and 2016 census data.)

Senior citizens are the most affected: they comprise 63% and 41% of Moreland’s pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries respectively. This suggests that Moreland’s road safety initiatives are failing our most vulnerable citizens.

Moreland records a high number of near misses, where vehicles too frequently crash into homes, parked cars and shops. Locations where the road curves are particularly dangerous. Local examples where residents have repeatedly raised concerns include Nicholson/Albion Sts, and Melville Rd near Lever St.

3.4.  Increased vehicle activity from population growth and navigation technologies

Many commuters drive through Moreland’s roads particularly in the southern part. Population growth is leading to increased congestion and hence more impatient drivers.

Much of Moreland’s growth is in the southern end, particularly Brunswick, already the most densely populated within the municipality. Although Brunswick’s car ownership is far lower than Melbourne’s average, its high population density means that the density of cars is now a staggering 26 per hectare (9 times the density of Greater Melbourne). In addition, our inner-city location means that through traffic increases as Melbourne grows. Most of Brunswick’s streets pre-date the car era, and many streets and footpaths are narrow. Moreland’s efforts to limit vehicle usage are being stymied by the car lobby.

The recent rise in the use of navigation apps has seen peak hour commuter traffic increasingly directed down residential streets, increasing rat-running. Apps like Google disregard Moreland’s road hierarchies and community needs. Some such rat-runs pass schools and shopping precincts, and increase the danger to pedestrians crossing these busy roads. International experience is that app owners are unwilling to modify their algorithms in line with local priorities, and the most effective action to prevent rat-running lies in stronger traffic management infrastructure, such as road closures. Council has not yet acted to address these changes.

Some of Moreland’s shopping strips have become dining precincts. There are many more people crossing the road after dark. The distance between pedestrian lights causes people to cross midblock.

Moreland’s low level of spending on pedestrian infrastructure has meant it hasn’t kept pace with these rapid changes.

3.5.  Lack of up-to-date information on pedestrian movements

Moreland last identified Brunswick’s Principal Pedestrian Networks (PPNs) in 2012. This needs to be done again, and for the whole of Moreland. Since 2012, there has been a rapid growth in Moreland’s population. Moreover, streets identified as part of the Brunswick PPNs have seen little improvement in their walkability. There is a clear need for up-to-date data that can help Moreland develop priorities for new walking infrastructure. Data is regularly collected on vehicle volumes and speeds, and on cycling numbers, but not on pedestrians.

We suggest that Moreland collect data on pedestrian numbers throughout the network, with regular pedestrian audits. This should include the audits set out in the Brunswick Integrated Transport Strategy.

3.6.  Pedestrians’ needs often neglected due to power of competing lobbies

Making our streets safer and more accessible for pedestrians inevitably involves trade-offs that impact on motorists. Motorists have become accustomed to being given priority on roads. Measures that impede vehicle movements to improve pedestrian safety generally lead to vocal protests from a well-funded, organised lobby.

Road safety spending is primarily regarded as reducing road trauma for vehicle occupants. While road safety initiatives over the past 50 years have significantly reduced road trauma for all road users, these gains are now tapering off. Roads are still becoming safer for vehicle occupants, but are now less safe for pedestrians. In 2019, Victoria’s pedestrian deaths jumped, returning to the level seen during the 2000s decade. In Metropolitan Melbourne, over half of road deaths over the past four years have been vulnerable road users (pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists).

The disparity in funding for vehicle occupant safety and pedestrian safety has now reached extreme levels. For example, the $650 million upgrade of the Western Highway was justified as reducing  road deaths. (There were reportedly 11 deaths in recent years.) Yet a Moreland campaign on pedestrian safety struggled to secure a simple pedestrian crossing – achieved only after three pedestrian fatalities.

In 2019 and 2020, the rate of pedestrians deaths in regional/rural Victoria has also nearly doubled compared with the previous decade. This has been used to argue for increased road funding, rather than investigating and targeting the causes of this increase.

Infrastructure designed for pedestrian safety often prioritises the convenience of vehicle drivers over the convenience and safety of pedestrians. For example, signalised pedestrian crossings minimise inconvenience to drivers by not responding quickly to pedestrian requests, or providing time for slower people to cross. Existing signalised pedestrian crossings could be cheaply modified to prioritise pedestrians, and yet this is not done.

In Moreland, with the response to MITS, we have again seen the road lobby consume much of Council’s time and resources. What should have been a strategy to improve sustainable transport has turned into a fight about vehicle parking.

Pedestrians have not been well organised as a lobby group. Their interest have thus been lost among those of competing transport lobby groups. This is reflected in the relatively low funding giving by councils and government to pedestrian safety initiatives.

3.7.  Cultural change is vital, but engineering changes can bring faster results

A large problem with pedestrian road safety is the attitude and training of motorists. Sadly, too many drivers are not aware of when they must give way to pedestrians, for example when turning. This is a major cause of road trauma among older pedestrians. There is a strong culture of blaming the victims, with police messaging focusing on what pedestrians must do to avoid being hit by vehicles, rather than on driver behaviour.

These cultural problems need to be addressed through better education and public messaging, and we urge Moreland Council to improve such programs. But such cultural change takes a long time. Safety can be improved more rapidly with engineering measures, thus increased infrastructure spending is vital.

4.    The Covid-19 Crisis Offers a Unique Opportunity

4.1.  Increase active transport infrastructure to lock in behaviour change from crisis

The Covid-19 crisis has seen an increase in people walking and cycling. This is likely to continue due to the need to social distance. So more pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders, and scooter riders are being channelled into narrow paths.

Increased use of active transport has many social and health benefits. Thus it should be encouraged. This is the ideal time to lock in this behaviour change by making active transport safer, more accessible and more enjoyable.

Many cities around the world are recognising the need and are grasping this opportunity to increase spaces for walking and cycling. In Australia, Melbourne City Council is spending $41 million to create more space for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, while the NSW state government is providing grants for Councils for wider footpaths and cycle lanes, provide extra crossing points, wider kerbs and lower speed limit trials. 

We urge Moreland to do likewise to also lock in these benefits by substantially increasing the budget for walking and cycling.

4.2.  Findings from local survey

Brunswick Residents Network conducted an on-line survey on life under stay-at-home rules, in late April, with 189 people taking part.[7] When asked about the effects of decreased traffic, the response was very enthusiastic. Common themes were that streets were quieter, and better for walking, bike-riding and running. Many appreciated increased safety. The ability to cross roads safely was highlighted by many. Driving was easier, and getting around (in general) was easier. Lack of traffic made it more peaceful, less stressful, and more pleasant, with cleaner air. Many of these respondents said that the safer environment encouraged them to go out on foot or by bicycle, and to take children.

When asked about the post-COVID future, some expressed a hope that our new, more outdoors life would continue, and that Council would put more value on improving our parks and open spaces.

The survey also asked whether people were doing more or less in relation to a list of activities. The “winner” in terms of physical activities was walking, with 51% walking more for exercise. (A sizeable percentage were bike-riding more, but an even larger group were riding less, with commuters complaining about losing their daily ride.)

In summary, the stay-home experience has made people aware of how more pleasant it is to live in traffic-free streets. It has encouraged and enabled walking, riding and running for exercise. Providing better infrastructure for walking and riding, keeping traffic out of residential streets, and upgrading our open spaces are both an opportunity for Council (with changing attitudes); and an increased need (with many people stating a wish to continue working from home). 

5.    Overall Funding Within Budget

5.1.  Separate categories for walking and cycling infrastructure

We are concerned that the Moreland budget puts walking and cycling infrastructure within the same category. We suggest that these be separate budget categories.

Cycling and walking are quite distinct activities. While Moreland has a number of shared paths and bridges, in most situations, pedestrians and cyclists require different infrastructure. Putting these two categories together, while roads are treated as a distinct category, sends a message that walking and cycling are less valued transport options. Moreover, by combining walking and cycling infrastructure, residents cannot clearly see how funding is being allocated. Shared paths are not ideal, and create hazards and conflict between pedestrians and (especially faster) cyclists.

In the draft 10 year capital works budget, the vast majority of projects are for cyclists. A number are for shared paths such as upgrades to the Upfield path, but cyclists are the main beneficiaries.

There is no doubt that cycling needs more infrastructure. However, this should not come at the expense of walking infrastructure.

5.2.  Increase budget for both walking and cycling infrastructure

We are concerned that the proposed budget slashes expenditure for transport management. Funds that had been allocated for parking measures and De Carle St upgrade have been removed, due to the delay in these projects. We submit that the savings of $600,000 should be retained in the transport management budget and spent on pedestrian safety projects.

Given the increase in cycling, its benefits, and the urgent need for safe cycling infrastructure, we support increasing expenditure on this. Hence we support the budget submission made by Moreland Bicycle Users Group.

However, spending on walking and pedestrian safety infrastructure needs to be significantly increased particularly in light of the history of inadequate spending for both groups.

5.3.  Specific pedestrian infrastructure projects should itemised in budget

We note that under the categories of Road Infrastructure, and Parks, Open Space and Streetscapes, each specific location for planned works is itemised. We urge Moreland to itemise specific pedestrian projects in the budget, including those that relate to pedestrian safety. At the current time, there is little transparency about how walking projects are chosen.

6.    Specific Proposals

In keeping with our proposal to itemise specific pedestrian projects, we list here various projects that need urgent funding.

6.1.  Develop Pedestrian Strategy

 We understand that Moreland’s Pedestrian Strategy was to be renewed in 2019-2020. It is concerning that walking issues have been subsumed under the Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy. Controversies over other issues in the MITS have consumed much of Council officers’ attention, perhaps to the detriment of Moreland’s pedestrians. We argue that walking needs its own strategy to ensure that pedestrian needs do not get lost among the other competing transport interests. We suggest that Moreland allocate $80,000 to develop a pedestrian strategy, including substantial consultation.

6.2.  Increase public seating along Principal Pedestrian Networks, and at bus stops.

In the main, Moreland has very little public seating / benches along the streets and roads identified as Principal  Pedestrian Networks. Few bus stops have seating. For residents with mobility and health issues, the lack of public seating is a major impediment to walking and to using local buses. Most of Moreland’s public seating are located in parks, shopping precincts and at tram stops. Removing this impediment to walking should have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Moreland’s more vulnerable residents.

We urge Moreland to include in the budget a rollout of public seating including at all bus stops.

6.3.  Footpaths maintenance, missing footpaths, and new developments

Poorly maintained footpaths are a danger to our more vulnerable residents. Around 5000 Victorians attend hospital annually due to falling in the street, and elderly residents are significantly overrepresented.[8] Countless others are injured in street falls.

While Moreland allocates funds for footpath maintenance, we submit that this is insufficient, and is not allowing for a sufficiently proactive approach as specified in Moreland’s Road Management Plan. Our observations found uneven surfaces, broken access hole covers in most streets. We understand that a maintenance crew will repair the hazard if it is reported, such as through reporting apps. However, the most vulnerable people in our community are the least likely to use these reporting apps.

There are popular streets in Moreland where footpaths are missing. Examples are Stewart St, Brunswick east of Nicholson Street, leading to CERES, a major pedestrian destination. It has a narrow footpath on one side and none on the other. Indeed, this could be a suitable location where the road and path becomes a shared space for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. Another example of missing footpaths is Louisa St, Coburg, an entrance to part of the Coburg shopping centres, which has no footpath on either side for much of its length. That such locations still exist in long-established areas of Moreland suggests that there has long been insufficient funds allocated to walking infrastructure.

We urge Moreland to increase the footpath and construction maintenance budget, and to ensure that hazards are proactively identified.

Footpath outside new developments also need addressing. Moreland traffic staff should liaise with planning staff to ensure that larger developments include both new footpaths (permeable) through the development, and a requirement to fund and implement upgrades of adjacent footpaths. In addition, although the MITs specified that when footpaths are re-done by Council they should be improved, this has not been implemented to date. For example in Laura Street Brunswick, asphalt footpath was replaced with asphalt of the same width and design.

6.4.  Funds to make walking / cycling to school safer

Currently more that two thirds of Australia’s school children are driven to school, often due to parents’ concerns about traffic safety.[9] There are huge social benefits in encouraging school children to walk or cycle to school rather than being driven. These include healthier children, and less traffic congestion and fewer traffic hazards arounds schools.

Improving safety is vital in achieving this, and projects need to be targeted at the routes used by school children.

Darebin Council has been providing funds for an Octopus School Program to make walking, cycling, skating and scooting to primary school safe, easy and fun.  Each year, one primary school is engaged, and the Council provides $150,000 investment in the school precinct and up to $50,000 to support active travel programs. We urge Moreland to provide similar funds to Moreland schools.

6.5.  Make rat runs safer by deterring traffic flow

The recent rise in the use of navigation apps (see above 3.4) has seen peak hour commuter traffic increasingly directed down certain Moreland’s residential streets. There are undoubtedly many, but some examples are:

  • Commuters travelling between Royal Parade and the northern and eastern suburbs are often directed along Barkly and Ewing Streets.
  • Commuters travelling between western suburbs and northern and eastern suburbs are often directed along The Grove, De Carle St and Davies St.
  • David Street is often used to avoid the often congested intersection at Sydney and Glenlyon Rd.
  • Commuters travelling between Sydney Rd and Nicholson St are directed along Moore Street.
  • Nicholson/Albion street bend is used by heavy construction vehicles bypassing the city link tolls between Moreland and Brunswick Road to connect them to the eastern freeway.

Some rat runs can be effectively discouraged with outstands, prohibitions on turning etcetera, in combination with a system of permanent street closures as seen in North Carlton. We urge Moreland to increase the budget for street closures. These measures also slow local traffic and make it less hazardous.

Lower vehicle speeds will help make our residential streets safer from rat running. We support the implementation and extension of 30 KPH kph as set out in the MITS, with clear scientific evidence that 30KPH decreases the level of deaths and the severity of road trauma.

6.6.  Nicholson / Albion Street Bend

There are some notoriously hazardous locations in Moreland that have seen little action. One in particular, where there has been a long-standing campaign to address pedestrian safety is the road bend at Nicholson and Albion Streets. We urge Moreland Council to allocate funds for the following projects:

  • Clearly marked pedestrian and cycling routes to and from Brunswick East Primary School, CERES, Merri Creek bike and pedestrian walkways and the about-to-be completed footbridge.
  • Funding for an additional pedestrian crossing on Albion Street for senior citizens and school children using the Number 503 Bus Service. 
  • Upgrade of all pedestrian footpaths on the Nicholson/Albion Street Bend, including upgrading for accessibility (currently it is not accessible for persons with disabilities) to provide safe and accessible walkways from Jones Park, Brunswick East Primary School and to tram and bus routes for school children, commuters and senior residents.

6.7.  Pedestrian Crossings

Respondents to the Brunswick Residents Network survey[10]  drew attention to the ease of crossing streets as one benefit of the COVID shut-down. Moreland Council should encourage walking by facilitating crossing roads. We urge Moreland to allocate sufficient funds for signalised pedestrians crossing. However, man more zebra crossings are also needed. The new Weston/Charles Street crossing outside Barkly Square shows how a zebra crossing can be a relatively cheap and useful facility. We also propose that zebra crossings be installed at roundabouts, as recommended by Victoria Walks.

6.8.  Shared Zones

As recommended in the Brunswick Integrated Transport Strategy, shared zones (combining all transport modes in a very low speed common area) can be a useful tool. We continue to propose a trial of shared zones around Fleming Park, with the benefits of both slowing and deterring traffic, and facilitating walking to the park.

6.9.  Park Infrastructure

We propose more funds be allocated for parks infrastructure and accessibility: Increased numbers of people can be seen out walking, running, taking children out by bicycle or foot, and walking dogs to off-leash parks. This observation is backed up by the  BRN survey[11] which showed a doubling of people walking for exercise, together with an increased appreciation of and support for local parks. This submission therefore supports increased funding for purchase, upgrading and maintenance of Moreland’s parks. Conversely, the increased use of parks supports the need for better pedestrian infrastructure so people can safely walk to their local parks.

[1]  Brunswick Residents Network, Our Stay-at-home Lives, May 2020




[5] Brunswick Residents Network, Our Stay-at-Home Lives, May 2020


[7] Brunswick Residents Network, Our Stay-at-Home Lives, May 2020



[10] Brunswick Residents Network, Our Stay-at-Home Lives, May 2020

[11] Brunswick Residents Network, Our Stay-at-home Lives, May 2020.