How can a Council encourage walking? The Glen Eira experience

Mon p.m. early

Abstract Remit

The City of Glen Eira is located in Melbourne's south-east suburbs, about 7 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD.
It encompasses a total land area of about 38 square kilometres and is an established residential area that is continuing to attract housing development.

The main thrust to encourage walking in Glen Eira is to improve safety for pedestrians with programs such as:
a) Safety Audits for schools - up to 4 schools each year are audited to improve safety and access in terms of walking.  Some recommendations result in large projects which can be programmed for future capital work budgets or stimulus packages however the majority of recommendations can be implemented relatively quickly and at a reasonable cost.

b) Safety Audits for shopping centres - a large shopping centre is audited each year to improve safety and access in and around the shopping centres.  Again a number of quick and cheap options can be implemented which provide immediate improvements for pedestrians.

c) Automatic Activation of Pedestrian Phases -  religious observance prevents orthodox Jewish pedestrians from pressing the push button to activate the walk phases at signals during Shabbat (sundown on Friday till sundown on Saturday).  This creates a situation where Jewish pedestrians may cross the road while a red man is displayed, which has obvious consequences for road safety and enforcement.   To address this, 13 traffic signals have been reprogrammed to provide automatic pedestrian activation (green walk time every cycle) to cater for the Jewish community.

d) Star rating project for school crossing points - a project focussed on getting schools, parents and practitioners together to assess crossing points near schools.  Various crossing points are inspected together and a star rating is provided to assist parents in determining walking routes to school and also provide an advocacy tool. 
This presentation will provide a number of before and after images to demonstrate how even small investments of funding and time can allow Councils to encourage walking.

Author Profile

Matthew is an Associate with O’Brien Traffic and has been with the firm since 1999.  O'Brien Traffic is based in Melbourne and provides traffic engineering, road safety and transport planning services.   Matthew is also the Coordinator of Traffic Engineering at Glen Eira City Council (located south-east of Melbourne) as part fulfilment of O’Brien Traffic’s contract to provide Traffic Engineering Services to Council.  Glen Eira is located approximately 7 kilometres south-east of the Melbourne CBD.

Matt’s interests include travel demand management, bicycle facility design, local area traffic management schemes and road safety audits.  Matthew has lectured on traffic and transport engineering matters at both Monash University and RMIT.

Organisation or Business: 
O'Brien Traffic
Document Type: 
Country (exc. NZ): 
Matthew Harridge
Session or Keynote: 
Urban Design

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Living Streets Aotearoa is the New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities. We are a nationwide organisation with local branches and affiliates throughout New Zealand.

We want more people walking and enjoying public spaces be they young or old, fast or slow, whether walking, sitting, commuting, shopping, between appointments, or out on the streets for exercise, for leisure or for pleasure.

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