The busy Ontario Avenue medical precinct is about to receive a significant road safety boost following the start of work on a major package of works designed to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety.
A roundabout will be installed at the intersection of Thirteenth Street and Ontario Avenue, while five pedestrian crossings will be established at key points in the medical precinct.
Time-based 40km/h speed zones will also be introduced on both Ontario Avenue and Thirteenth Street.
The works are among a $3 million suite of projects announced last year, which includes $2.1 million funded by Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and the State Government of Victoria through the Safe System Road Infrastructure Program (SSRIP).
Councillor for Infrastructure and Transport Greg Brown said ongoing development around the Ontario Avenue medical precinct in recent years had made the intersection of Ontario Avenue and Thirteenth Street increasingly busy.
“While it’s been great to see the increase in medical services in this busy precinct, it’s brought with it an increase in traffic volumes and pedestrian activity.
“This new package of works is designed to make negotiating this busy precinct both easier and safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and is supported by surrounding businesses.”
The proposed works will be carried out in a staged process. The initial stage of works have started with an extension of Thirteenth Street to provide 41 additional parking spaces and access to a planned future car park. Temporary traffic management and a detour plan have been implemented and traffic in the immediate vicinity is limited to 40km/h during the works.
While road closures will be kept to a minimum during the works, there will be several unavoidable temporary closures, which will be advertised ahead of time.
We are working with emergency services, including ambulance and fire services, to provide advice on the best routes to avoid any delays. In addition to this, priority access can be provided to emergency vehicles during working hours by on-site traffic controllers if required.
This initial component of the project is expected to be completed by mid-October ahead of the start of work on the roundabout and other measures in coming weeks.
The entire suite of road safety upgrades in the Ontario Avenue medical precinct is expected to be completed by February 2020.
BACKGROUND ON SAFETY MEASURES
Roundabout at the intersection of Ontario Avenue and Thirteenth Street
Roundabouts are a universally accepted method of improving road safety at intersections. They help slow vehicles to safe speeds and direct traffic flow. Research shows that roundabouts can reduce fatal and serious injury crashes at intersections by up to 85 per cent.
Pedestrian crossings (Zebra)
Pedestrian crossings (Zebra) will be established at five new locations on Ontario Avenue and Thirteenth Street. They will provide clearly defined crossing points where pedestrians are expected to cross. These crossing points will be more visible to drivers and encourage reduced speeds, increasing safety for pedestrians attempting to cross the road.
Time-based 40km/h speed limits
Speed limits on Ontario Avenue and Thirteenth Street in the medical precinct will be reduced to 40km/h. Electronic signage, similar to those used in school zones, will be erected and clearly indicated when the 40km/h speed limit is active. Research shows that reducing speeds is directly related to a reduction in crashes and serious injuries.