Safe living in the city
As a Parkville resident for many years I learned a lesson when spending some time on crutches recently: keep your eyes open and move quickly!
There were a few positives, students (mainly overseas ones) giving me a seat on the tram, a couple of people helping me up steps and the occasional bike avoiding me.
It gave me time, however, to observe issues that cause problems for elderly pedestrians or those with disabilities. It also highlighted the absolute selfishness of so many of Melbourne’s residents.
Every column I talk about e-scooters. If ridden correctly they should be an excellent way to travel, however no-one follows the rules. No hats, double dinking, speeding and riding on pedestrian only pavements.
The operators can “geo fence” the scooters but frankly they don’t! On Royal Parade where clearly the west side has “no cycling” signs riders zoom along oblivious to pedestrians and yell obscenities when challenged.
There is a particular issue on the corner of Morrah St and Royal Parade where scooters and bikes cross Royal Parade on the pedestrian-only crossing, weave through the tables outside Naughtons and ride on the wrong side down Morrah St.
Hotel staff have been hit as have the odd pedestrians. This is a dangerous corner and needs urgent fixing. Scooters and bikes coming out of Tin Alley don’t stop, pedestrians are fair game.
Trams along Royal Parade stop yet cars continue to pass them while pedestrians are disembarking. Many years ago, a pedestrian was killed on the Morrah St stop and it’s only a matter of time before another serious accident happens. I feel for the tram drivers who sit there helplessly watching ignorant drivers speed through. We need a law change to cover this serious offence.
All these issues are easily corrected. In Europe in the bike cities, they all obey the law and enjoy the healthy pastime of cycling.
In Paris the Mayor called a referendum on hire e-scooters and 90 per cent of those who voted were against them. In late October the number of injuries from e-scooters at St Vincents alone since 2022 topped 500.
The irony is that many were caused by late night intoxicated users; many did not realise if over the limit they will lose their drivers licences. Ride safely please!
On a positive note, the new tram super stops are currently being constructed either side of Grattan St on Royal Parade. These will enable swift interchanges with Parkville Station when opened but, more importantly, provide safe and level access for many patients going to the hospitals.
On the negative side “rat runners” will look at quicker ways through South Parkville joining the hundreds of existing ones!
All these issues can be fixed easily by all of us thinking of others. Look after your fellow residents and make pavements and crossings safe. Not everyone is a fit as you are and, yes, sadly some are a lot slower. A smile and “good day” are a wonderful tonic!
On Friday, October 27 I chaired the local Police Community Consultative Committee which covers Carlton, North Melbourne, Kensington, Parkville Gardens and Parkville.
The new Local Area Commander, Inspector Craig Pearson, talked about many new initiatives we will see around our area where they hope to introduce “coffee with a cop” particularly around the housing communities in Carlton, Kensington and North Melbourne.
The Police have a tough job in these difficult times; we should reciprocate and smile and say ‘thanks’ to the “boys and girls in blue!”. •
Have a great November!