Works under way in East Melbourne, Lygon St and Parkville to fix “black spot” intersections
A problem intersection in East Melbourne is being upgraded with the City of Melbourne starting works at the roundabout of Simpson and Hotham streets to improve safety.
The project will deliver raised zebra pedestrian crossings, kerb extensions and flat-top road humps to reduce vehicle speeds.
Works began in late-March and are expected to be completed by late-May.
The $420,000 project will be funded as part of the federal government’s road safety Black Spot program, which targets road locations where crashes are occurring or are at risk of occurring.
The East Melbourne Group welcomed the upgrade as there had “been a number of significant accidents with injuries to bicyclists as well as pedestrians caused by cars speeding through the intersection”.
In other road projects, $345,000 will be spent on Lygon St, Carlton – with works expected to start and finish in May – thanks to funding from the federal government’s Roads to Recovery program, which will contribute $320,000 to the project.
Issues identified included a loss of pavement shape and “fatigued appearance” as well as “wide range cracking, heavily undulating along wheel paths and approach to intersections”.
Carlton Inc. executive officer Phillip Mansour said while their group wasn’t aware of the project nor whether the community had been consulted, he conceded it was “good we’re seeing some dollars spent in the area”.
However, as a priority, he said Carlton Inc. was working with the City of Melbourne to ensure footpaths along Lygon St would be upgraded, which he believed would make sense to be “kept in line” with the road project.
According to the federal government, money provided under Roads to Recovery is not intended to replace local government spending on roads, or state assistance to funding recipients for local road construction or maintenance.
In other black spot projects, $285,000 has been allocated to making safety improvements at the Kendall Ave-Walker St intersection in Parkville.
According to the black spot program website, the project was completed at the end of last year, which included installing raised pedestrian zebra crossings on all four legs of the intersection to slow vehicles, and applying sharrows (bicycle symbols) within the roundabout to increase awareness of cyclists.
Parkville Association president Rob Moore said residents were consistently lobbying for road safety improvements as well as stopping “rat running” through Parkville.
He said the community had welcomed the City of Melbourne’s recent installation of speed humps on Gatehouse St at the Story St intersection, next to Royal Park nature playground.
Mr Moore said after concerns were expressed of near misses at the busy intersection, the council had done a “wonderful job” to ensure it was safer.
Last year, the City of Melbourne announced it would spend $1.5 million in safety works and upgrades at Poplar Rd as part of its 2022-23 Budget after the dangerous “S-bend” next to the Royal Park Railway Station and tram intersection was labelled a “death trap” by residents. •