Government support of community projects

Given the pragmatic and realistic nature of the Design Thesis Studio Streets without Cars, it made sense to look at the ways in which the government could support these kinds of projects financially. An interview with Richard Young, manager of infrastructure and special projects at the City of Yarra, revealed the most realistic way in which a project like this could get funding, and the kinds of projects that the City of Yarra are looking to fund in the future.[1]

20140814 government support #1

The Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) studies undertaken by the City of Yarra aim to “improve traffic conditions and road safety on local streets.”[2] Council contributes financial support each year to projects that fulfil the LATM criteria, a possible source of revenue for a project like Streets Without Cars.

20140814 government support #2

The LATM studies work like this:

20140814 government support #3

20140814 government support #4

20140814 government support #5

20140814 government support #6

20140814 government support #7

It is interesting to look at the criteria the council use to assess and rank the importance of various LATM studies. Streets with the following kinds of issues are put at a higher priority than others.

  • Casualty crashes – any reported fatalities, serious injuries and other injuries in the last five years.
  • Traffic speed – any local street with an 85th percentile speed greater than 44km/h.
  • Traffic volume – any local street with an average weekday traffic volume greater than 1,000 vehicles.
  • Through traffic – any local street with a peak hour to 24 hour volume ratio in excess of 14%.
  • Heavy vehicles – any local street with a proportion of commercial vehicles to all traffic in excess of 5%.
  • Activity land use generators (e.g. hospitals and schools) – considered in terms of likely pedestrian and bicycle generation, especially by vulnerable road users.
  • Resident complaints – expressed by the number of received letters, petitions and notes to file from Council officers.

Once an area has been carefully studied and the community has been consulted, the LATM study will suggest different kinds of road works to solve the most pressing issues. Before any work is done, the community are consulted further to assess their reception to proposed solutions. Typical built responses include:

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Young commented that the City of Yarra are interested in the ideas explored by Streets without Cars. He also noted that the Poynton Regenerated project, a project in Cheshire, England, which involved the redesign of a troublesome intersection, embodies the kinds of approaches being discussed within Council for the future of local urban design. This case study project demonstrates how streets that prioritise pedestrians can work for everyone, including a better outcome for vehicle traffic.


Footnotes

  1. Interview with Richard Young, manager of Infrastructure and Special Projects; City of Yarra; August 2014.
  2. Local Area Traffic Management Policy; City of Yarra; May 2014.

Image sources

  1. Interview with Richard Young, copyright the author.
  2. Local Area Traffic Management, copyright the author.
  3. LATM funding process #1, copyright the author.
  4. LATM funding process #2, copyright the author.
  5. LATM funding process #3, copyright the author.
  6. LATM funding process #4, copyright the author.
  7. LATM funding process #5, copyright the author.
  8. Traffic slowing devices, copyright the author.
  9. LATM outcomes, copyright the author.
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