Traffic in Parkville

Traffic in Parkville
Rob Moore

While there have been mentions of traffic issues in my previous columns there are now issues that need urgent addressing.

Not only the usual “rat runners” who selfishly speed through Parkville but now there’s also a new group that has emerged due to the closure of the service lane on Royal Parade from the Elizabeth St roundabout in the direction of Story St.

To the former, a local dog was hit recently by a speeding car on Degraves St, luckily it is alright but this happened in the early hours of the morning, the driver not being observant and driving too quickly. During a rainy week in late June, I saw at least five cars driving up Park Drive and into Degraves St at around 60/70 kph. While Park Drive has a large central reservation and roundabouts to attempt to slow traffic the side streets of Bayles and Degraves have central parking and single lanes meaning a speeding car has pedestrians, drivers exiting cars, babies being unloaded and kids to target! 

I totally understand the frustration of being stuck in traffic however, terrorising local streets is not the answer. At times I have indicated to drivers to slow down only to cop verbal abuse and a couple of physical threats. Our locals are not being “NIMBY” people but genuinely care for the great mix of young families and many elderly people in our suburb.

I mentioned the closure of the service lane from the Elizabeth St roundabout, past the hospitals and reopening just prior to Story St. When this was proposed as part of the Melbourne Metro development it did not appear to be an issue as most of our residents use public transport or walk to the city. The issue has arisen that cars driving along Flemington Rd bank up from the roundabout until past Gatehouse St so some tend to escape at Park Drive, right hand turn at speed up Story St and right again on to Royal Parade. Two things – firstly they speed past Uni High during school drop of time and secondly force their way out into Royal Parade during peak hours. This is not a safe practice and causes some tram delays. Urgent attention is needed to resolve this issue before a serious accident occurs. 

Summarising, a full traffic plan is necessary to ensure the safety of both residents, pedestrians and casual parkers. On a positive note, the City of Melbourne will be trialling speed humps (flat not noisy) in Degraves St from late July. This is a start but restricting the “rat runners” and addressing traffic volumes on Gatehouse St have to be the long term solutions.

In last month’s column the bicycles using the pedestrian crossing on Royal Parade were highlighted. There has been several emails asking for the creation of a bike crossing to alleviate the problem. This is a matter that also needs an urgent review and will be followed up by the Parkville Association.

As things return to normal after the recent lockdown it is great to see Naughtons Hotel back in full swing. We are so lucky to have such a great local institution. The hotel first opened in 1873 and has hosted most of the Carlton Football Club’s 16 flags. Does my bias show through there!

Finally, it has been great to meet Fr. Joe Caddy who is the new Priest at St Carthage’s. Joe is also the Vicar General and will take up residence in Bayles St shortly •

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