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Journeys : Apr May 2011
The R ACT has been active on the issue of rural speed limits since my last column. We’ve made a submission to the Gover nment and conducted a web poll to give members a say on the matter. Based on rural crash statistics supplied by the Government it is clear to us that by far the biggest category of factors in serious rural crashes can be summed as driving without due attention. Grouped in this categor y are factors ranging from tur ning w ithout care to inattention and inexperience. So it seems to us that more effort needs to go into education and enforcement, rather than penalising the vast majority of law- abiding and responsible motorists by cutting the speed limit. Further complicating the search for a simple solution such as a blanket speed reduction, I was struck by the number of motorcyclists and interstate and overseas visitors who were involved in serious road crashes in rural Tasmania, as well as the high propor tion of young drivers. If you took part in our web poll on this issue, then I thank you for your contribution. We intend posting more polls on our website to give our members a say on issues that affect them. ------------ Urban traffic is a constant source of comment from members. That’s why we’ve provided space in Jour neys for Launceston and Hobar t councils to talk about the matters from their perspectives. Research from the National Institute of Labour Studies for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship recently highlighted the population growth that is expected to occur over the next 50 years in Australia’s capital cities. It builds on other predictions that our cities will get much bigger in the decades ahead and it means that we must get our urban planning r ight. Mobility, of course, will be very important, and it was interesting to read the recently-released Greater Hobart Household Travel Survey, conducted by DIER. It shows that nearly 75% of all tr ips in Hobart are undertaken by car. Commendably, walking accounts for 20% of all weekday tr ips, but cycling accounts for less than 1%. Four percent of trips are undertaken by public transport, which points to the challenge of making public transport more relevant to urban dwellers and their mobility needs in the future. Metro should be congratulated for recently conducting a free weekend ser vice to tempt members of the community to tr y out public transport. If you want to look at the survey, go to: http://www.transport.tas. gov.au/miscellaneous/greater_hobart_household_travel_ survey Harvey Lennon Chief Executive Officer From the CEO In the last issue of Journeys we published an article on Launceston’s traffic challenges. This review of Jan Gehl’s research into the traffic situation in Hobart was prepared for Journeys by the Hobart City Council. During 2010 Gehl Architects carried out detailed data collection and analysis in the Hobart city centre. The research report Hobart 2010, Public Spaces & Public Life – A city with people in mind indicated that ‘Your car is welcome in Hobart.’ The city provides over 8000 car spaces within the study area. Of these, about 2500 are on street spaces. This is considered a high proportion when compared w ith a selection of cities of similar population. The counter to this is that other cities often have either a developed multi-option public transport system and/ or are more compact, with a high number of residences in their city centres. With very few exceptions the current street pattern and design of Hobart favours motor vehicles. With the increase in the number of cars travelling through the city streets, the interaction between cars, pedestrians and the growing use of bicycles has reduced the environmental quality and safety of city streets. Hobart Lord Mayor Rob Valentine says that an interesting statistic in Gehl’s report was the percentage of pedestrians that use Hobart’s inner city streets to travel to work. “Gehl’s data indicates this percentage is in the region of 20% and that on a summer weekday close to 20,000 people are walking in the Elizabeth Street Mall,” Alderman Valentine says. “Hobart appears to be a drive, park and walk city and until the public transport system is able to provide a significantly different ser vice, this is likely to remain the norm. There is a growth in use of bicycles but this is from a relatively low base of a little over 1% of all jour neys to the city; this requires continuing monitoring to determine what facilities need to be improved for this transport mode.” Hobart and a trafficable future In our community 6 April / May 2011
Feb March 2011
Jun Jul 2011