Category Archives: Traffic Management

Traffic Management

Traffic Management

Council has turned the cheek on this major concern of residents, by diverting attention into something vaguely called Road Safety Strategy. This stratagem allows council to by-pass its responsibilities over 95% of Glen Eira – our local streets, by pretending the only real problems are on the 5% – the major and arterial roads.

But safety on major roads is the concern of the police, and the major road and arterials themselves are maintained by Vic Roads. Council has little role to play in their upkeep. On the other hand, safety works, roundabouts, car parking, in Glen Eira’s local streets are the province and responsibility of Glen Eira Council. By emphasizing main roads, at the expense of local streets, Council is simply cost-shifting.

Council claims that protecting our local streets to the level needed by local residents is “throwing money at what is perceived to be the problem”. Council’s budget only allows for 4 – 5 treatments a year. We must be more serious about traffic safety. Such an appallingly inadequate level of safety works means that it takes at least several years of Budgets to finish the needed works for just one LATM (Local Area Traffic Management) scheme. There are dozens of such areas across Glen Eira screaming out for urgent safety works. GERA believes it is time Council greatly expanded its LATM program.

Glen Eira Council gleefully accepts millions from property developers who pay Council to provide better local facilities for the ever-increasing numbers of residents that Council is encouraging. The need for better car parking at shopping centres is obvious. Council collects huge extra commercial rates but fails to use that money to improve street parking.

GERA believes that increased funding is critically needed for Traffic Management and Safety. The planning of the local LATMs should take higher priority at council meetings.

On Street Parking

Glen Eira Council is responsible for managing parking within Glen Eira and states that Council  “attempts to ensure the equitable use of parking spaces, especially around shopping centres and major transport areas. Within these areas parking demand exceeds supply hence the need for parking restrictions to ensure a fair and equitable allocation system.”

A review of Glen Eira’s Residential Parking Permit Scheme includes the following:

  • No permits will be issued for the major streets of commercial areas within the municipality.  Where an applicant is the resident of a dwelling situated in a recognised commercial area and restrictions apply in that commercial area, any permits issued will be for the nearest adjacent street only.
  • Council reserves the right to exclude specific development from access to the scheme in particular locations.
  • Council reserves the right to vary the parking permit scheme entitlements between different locations.

Council approvals of high density developments,  with “a reduction of car parking requirements”  has increased dramatically in recent time.  Typically, onsite/off street carparking requirements are now:

  • one car space per one or two bedroom residences
  • two car spaces per three bedroom residence
  • one visitor car park per 5 residences (although developments with no visitor parking provisions are now appearing)

The arguments for allowing reduced car parking requirements are the excellent availability of interconnected modes of public transport and the need to encourage the use of sustainable transport options such as walking, cycling and public transport.

However, while the goal is admirable the reality is that the switch from private vehicle transport to sustainable transport options is transitioning and, for a host of reasons, will be transitioning for many, many years.    Most households (regardless of density) have two vehicles – so where will the second vehicle be parked?  Since most of these high density developments occur in areas designated as Activity Centres or  a “recognised commercial area” where restrictions apply, according to Council’s Resident Parking Scheme, the second car will be granted a resident permit for the nearest adjacent street.  Consider the impact on residential amenity in those “nearest adjacent streets” and flow on effects on other surrounding streets.

Within its Residential Parking Permit Scheme, Council has the right “to exclude specific development from access to the scheme in particular locations”.   To the best of our knowledge Council has only invoked this rule in one instance – the development of 221-229 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick, which comprises 10 storeys, 67 dwellings, 3 shops and 2 offices.  This development was approved at the May 17, 2011 Council Meeting and included in the Minutes is the statement that “Residents of the dwellings allowed under this permit will not be issued Residential Parking Permits (including visitor parking permits” (Page 539, Note D).   Yet, the onsite/off street parking ratios applicable to this development are as outlined above – so why was the rule applied to this development and not others?

Less than one month prior, Council approved the mammoth Caulfield Village Development (also known as C60) which has the same parking ratios as that for the 221-229 Glen Huntly Road development.   In the case of the C60 development, Council did not invoke the “will not be issued Residential Parking Permits” rule and instead opted to make the developer (the MRC) pay for the restricted parking signs.   How can this be justified?  The C60 did not have any councillor or CEO declaring a conflict of interest.  The Glen Huntly application did.

By not applying this rule to all developments (future and currently approved but yet to be built)

  • Residential amenity is being sacrificed, yet developers are gaining
  • Serious questioning should be asked of Councillors and the Administration re the rationale for their decisions on when to invoke the no permits to be issued decision.
  • Council is not optimizing its encouragement of use of sustainable transport options
  • Council actions are at odds with Council’s strategies on carbon emissions or traffic management or providing support for local traders/businesses.