August 2022 project update and summary

The works on Merton Street are the results of Blackspot road safety funding that responds to the 24 crashes resulting in injury that were recorded in a five-year period along the corridor. Of the 24 crashes, a total of 9 resulted in serious injuries.

A plan was developed to introduce traffic calming treatments along the corridor including ‘blister islands’, reduce the speed limit and improve the street lighting. The plan was successful in obtaining approximately $600,000 funding from the federal government based on the crash history and the road safety benefit of the treatments.

Community consultation was undertaken on the project as follows:

  • Flyer sent to 2,832 Altona Meadows properties in November 2021 (including all properties and owners along Merton Street) summarising the project with links to plans available online on Council’s Participate page. We received 125 submissions, and an online meeting was also held in December 2021.
  • Follow up letters sent to the same 2,832 properties in March 2021 summarising the results of the feedback with opportunities to contact Council staff to discuss any concerns.
  • Promotion of the project in Council’s quarterly Around the Bay publication and social media.
  • Meetings and direct feedback from the Department of Transport (VicRoads), Emergency Services and Bus operators.
  • Construction notification letters were sent in July 2022 to affected residents along Merton Street.

Feedback received from the broader community showed support for the measures, and an accredited design consultant finalised the plans for delivery based on road design standards in the Australian Standards and AustRoad Guides.

It is recognised works like that on Merton Street represent a significant change so an independent Road Safety Audit will be undertaken once works are complete to identify any risks and suitable changes implemented.

30 March 2022

Thank you to everyone who submitted feedback during the consultation period.

Council has developed final functional designs based on the feedback we have received from the community. Click here to view the final designs.

Project background

Improvements for safe and active travel on Merton Street, Altona Meadows

Merton Street in Altona Meadows, one of Hobsons Bay’s major local roads, has a high rate of reported crashes with average daily traffic demand of between 8,000 and 18,000 vehicles. Council is looking at improving safety of all road users and promoting active travel (walking and cycling) on Merton Street.

In 2020, Council’s Traffic and Transport team carried out an analysis to identify crash trends on Merton Street in Altona Meadows. The analysis informed a high crash rate on Merton Street in the last five years, i.e. 24 reported crashes from 2014 to 2019.

After preliminary analysis, Council engaged a consultant to undertake a detailed study of issues affecting travel along Merton Street. The study proposed measures to improve safety for all road users with a focus on promoting safety for pedestrians and cyclists to encourage active travel.

Project Rationale and Proposed Treatments

Merton Street is managed by Hobsons Bay City Council. It is classified as a major local road between Railway Avenue and Central Avenue and as a distributor road between Central Avenue and Nelson Avenue.

Merton Street is aligned in a north to south direction and provides a connection to Laverton in the north and Victoria Street to the south. It is one of the major access points into and out of the residential area of Altona Meadows and provides access to the west bound lanes of the Princes Freeway in its northern section. The surrounding land use along the corridor is primarily residential and provides access to Central Square Shopping Centre.

The historical traffic demand indicates that between 8,000 and 18,000 vehicles travel along Merton Street on an average day with a posted speed limit of 60 km/h.

Crash Data Analysis

Based on the crash history for the five-year period ending December 2019, there was a total of 24 reported crashes on Merton Street. 54 per cent of crashes occurred at intersections and 46 per cent occurred between blocks. Of the 24 crashes, four were loss of control crashes, five were motorcycle crashes, five were cyclist crashes and one was a pedestrian crash.

The crashes are likely associated with poor road user behaviour, inadequate traffic calming devices and the existing 60 km/h speed limit. The existing 60 km/h speed limit is particularly high near Central Square Shopping Centre where there are high pedestrian volumes.

There is a lack of speed calming devices on the 2.6 km road length, as a result some of the crashes were reported to involve vehicles travelling above the speed limit.

Proposed Treatments

The following treatments have been proposed to improve safety of all road users on Merton Street:

  • Speed reduction from 60 km/h to 50 km/h, reducing likelihood and severity level of crashes.
  • Midblock blister islands to deter speeding behaviour, reducing the likelihood and severity of crashes. In previous engagement processes relating the community of Altona Meadows has indicated a preference for other types of treatments over the use of speed humps. As a result, blister islands have been proposed to effectively calm traffic.
  • Installation of green textured surface at intersections and blister islands is proposed to enhance the visibility and recognition of bicycle lanes to reduce the chance of conflict between bicycles and other road users, including vehicles and pedestrians.
  • Separated bike lanes, promoting a safer active travel environment.
  • Upgrading the existing pedestrian crossing to a wombat crossing for safer access to Central Square Shopping Centre.

Interactive Map