Parkville Gardens residents demand action against “rat-run” drivers

Parkville Gardens residents demand action against “rat-run” drivers
Brendan Rees

Parkville Gardens residents fed up with drivers using their housing estate as a shortcut during peak hours are calling on authorities to act on the growing concern.

Parkville Gardens Residents’ Association (PGRA) president Tom Knowles said the problem of “rat-running” had been going on for years as impatient drivers used their quiet neighbourhood to avoid congestion on main roads during rush hour.

“People living along Cade Way and Willam St get very frustrated because the traffic can bank up and they can’t get out of their driveways. It’s a pain in the neck basically,” he said.

“In the evening people are more so in a hurry to get home or to get where they want to go, so they again tend to speed and cut corners.”

He said it was becoming increasingly frustrating with many drivers ignoring a no right-hand turn sign from Brunswick Rd into Gibson Ave from 6.30am to 9.30am weekdays.

In the afternoons, he said Cade Way became “virtually one lane with cars parked on either side” as drivers travelling from Flemington Rd used the estate as a short cut to access the CityLink freeway via Brunswick Rd.

Brunswick Rd is a state-owned road while the estate’s local roads are managed by the City of Melbourne.

 

Caption: PGRA president Tom Knowles (left) and other residents want drivers to stop “rat running” through their quiet estate. Photo: Marcela Lechocka.

 

Mr Knowles said their narrow roads were intended for local traffic and serving residential needs, not large volumes of traffic.

He said the current situation was also posing a safety hazard to the community including elderly residents walking in the vicinity of the Mercy Place aged care facility on Willam St.

“There is one pedestrian crossing but nothing outside the aged care facility. I’m not aware that there have been any major accidents, but it seems to me it’s something that’s waiting to happen.”

Mr Knowles said the issue had been reported to the City of Melbourne but noted “it’s difficult to get action”.

The City of Melbourne said it was aware of rat running through the estate after having met with the PGRA on several occasions.

In a statement, the council said it would address the issue by applying to the Department of Justice to install a red light camera at the Brunswick Rd and Gibson Ave intersection to deter the illegal right turns, while also advocating to Victoria Police to enforce illegal right turns.

It would also begin a “pedestrian road safety improvement study” in Parkville Gardens and recommend traffic calming measures following the completion of the study.

The council introduced a 40km/h speed limit to the estate in 2020.

The Department of Transport and Planning has been contacted for comment. •

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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