This pic is from corner of Settlement and McKenzie in Cowes, Friday, January 6, not particularly busy time or place. Obviously it’s ruined somebody’s holiday and not a good look for passing traffic.
In any kind of enterprise, repeat business is better, in every respect than one-off business.
When you consider how much is spent on marketing, at all levels of government as well as operators in tourist businesses, for best return, don’t we need to make the town as friendly as possible, to encourage repeat visits and not turn people off with things like car crashes?
It’s clear, if you inspect traffic research reports, that speed limits reduced to 40, or preferably 30km/h in busy urban streets, mean car crashes can often be avoided completely.
Any remaining will result in very much less injury and damage.
Thompson Ave, with three supermarkets, thanks to planning ministers overruling planning experts, with angle parking on both sides of the road, is urban traffic anarchy, even more dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists than cars.
Traffic research reports find that at 40 or even 30km/h, traffic flow is much smoother than at 60km/h, driver courtesy improving so that vehicles make turns and merge into and out of main roads without all the stop/start aggro at 60km/h.
Unfortunately local experts often get more glory out of big budget projects for “more, bigger, faster, is better” roads.
Could it be that wider and straighter roads are part of the problem, a reason why so many drivers can be easily distracted?
In any discussion, authority folks will only consider rational behaviour by drivers.
For anybody who has ever lived close to a roundabout like the one at Thompson and Settlement, walking and cycling frequently, antics by drivers are often unbelievable.
It’s only when police and ambos are called that crashes are reported or even recorded in stats. At this roundabout, you always find bits of broken glass and plastic.
Example of other craziness, from Saturday, January 7, out on “wide open road” in the crawling conga line between Bass and San Remo, our son and family got caught in one of those concertina type car congestion, needing to brake just a little sharply.
Not one but two cars behind suddenly swerved onto the shoulder to avoid shutting his rear end.
If that’s not enough, it happened again, with one car swerving left and the other swerving right, fortunately with no oncoming traffic.
Elsewhere in the world, you find programmable speed limit signs which could slow traffic down, as far back as Bass, to reduce risk of concertina braking events.
Otherwise, even as close as Melbourne, you find places where roundabouts have been removed and replaced by traffic lights. This improves flow for single lane traffic but VicRoads insist that dual lane roundabouts, disregarding high cost, flow faster.
Occasionally, you might get a clear, wide-open road run between Newhaven and Cowes, when you might be able to accelerate to as fast as 80km/h.
But mostly, you’ll be blocked by cars at less than 80.
The remaining parts of the road at 80 are gradually getting shorter, replaced by 60.
The difference in travel time, for the exhilaration of a few bits at 80, amounts to hardly more than one minute time saving.
So how about 60 for whole island and 30 for Cowes, north of Rhyll Road, bounded by Coghlans to east and McKenzie to west?
Let’s get over it. The private car as we know it is surely going to be extinct in the next 10 or 20 years, gradually replaced by efficient public transport for inter urban transport, with car sharing at destinations.
How about we favour rather than fight this trend?
Our Federal leaders appear to be pinning their hopes on leadership and ideas from “the regions”, especially for jobs and growth.
Can anybody not see real opportunities for Island community to lead here? Or do we continue to turn a blind eye to cars being cause, and not solution, of so many problems, with millions of dollars being wasted on more roads, feeding our disastrous addiction to cars?
Bernie McComb, Phillip Island.
Do higher speed limits help?