Safety in Parkville

Safety in Parkville
Rob Moore

Last month I mentioned the lack of signage on some of the newly-created bicycle lanes around the city and the resultant damage to vehicles. Some follow-up did occur and on Swanston St a sign has now appeared at the worst spot. 

Coming out of lockdown and as the pavements become more crowded (thankfully) I can’t understand with all these bike lanes why cyclists and the food delivery bikes have to ride on pavements! Royal Parade on the western side clearly has no cycling signs and the pedestrian crossing outside Naughtons is not a shared crossing.

Regardless, every morning or evening cyclists swarm across Royal Parade dodging pedestrians or even bumping into them! A friend in Carlton has been hit twice by, firstly, a powered bike, and then a cyclist on pavements and was hospitalised. We don’t want this happening in Parkville!

Walking through Tin Alley in the university, a powered scooter went past at around 15kph missing a couple of students. My message is we build these bike tracks so why is it necessary for these powered scooters/bikes to use pedestrian only pavements! 

We also have a major issue on Gatehouse St with the pedestrian crossing to access Nature Play and Royal Park. Given the nightly crawl towards Flemington Rd, cars stop and pedestrians can cross. However, eastbound traffic fails to notice this and too often there are near misses for those on the crossing! There will be a major accident if this is not fixed.

There is also a push to have a pedestrian crossing from the Royal Park Station to the north entrance to the Zoo. With tram tracks, cars and bikes it is dangerous and the Zoo’s director Michelle Bruggeman has written to the CEO of the City of Melbourne to ask whether this can be fixed urgently. As we push to get more people on public transport this will alleviate a major problem for zoo visitors.

Finally, a big thank you to City of Melbourne for the speed humps in Degraves St – they work very well. We need now to look at the rest of Parkville, particularly the corner of The Avenue and Royal Parade where cars cut through peak hour traffic into The Avenue often just missing pedestrians crossing the road. Frankly, all these issues show a lack of respect from drivers, cyclists and scooter riders. 

On a more positive note, I attended a meeting at the newly extended Melbourne Sports Centre in Parkville this week. CEO of Netball Victoria Rosie King and her team gave us a great tour of the extensions including an indoor hockey pitch. The facilities are quite amazing and of course very much part of Royal Park, well worth visiting.

The meeting was for Royal Park Stakeholders, with the Melbourne Zoo masterplan also being presented. Many people don’t realise that the Zoo was opened in 1862 before Parkville as a suburb was created. Prior to moving to Park-Ville as it was then known animals were housed in the Botanical Gardens. The Zoo has some great plans to go back to nature more and they are very exciting as will be the birth of three elephant calves next year!  See them quickly as in 2024 all the elephants will be moving to the Open Zoo at Werribee.

As mentioned previously 2023 is our sesquicentenary in Parkville and 2022 will be the lead up to a very exciting year. There are plans for some art works on Royal Parade and the council is having a heritage study which is also great timing for the 150th. We are fiercely proud of our suburb which can be explored on our Parkville Heritage app. For those unaware this now houses the Royal Park Protection Group’s walks as well and shortly we will also host Friends of Royal Park. This will enable all to enjoy all our great suburb and appreciate the heritage and the beauty of Royal Park!

As this is the last publication pre-Christmas enjoy a very Merry Christmas and may 2022 be a far happier year for all! •

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