VicRoads says 10,000 vehicles the only way for signs

Confusing messages: VicRoads has claimed 10,000 vehicles need to travel along Dunlop Street for St Colman’s School to get their desired flashing variable signs, with claims of too much signage and any fundraising attempts not enough.

Confusing messages: VicRoads has claimed 10,000 vehicles need to travel along Dunlop Street for St Colman’s School to get their desired flashing variable signs, with claims of too much signage and any fundraising attempts not enough.

FUNDRAISING efforts for St Colman’s electronic flashing speed signs would be in vain, with the school deemed ineligible for the lights, even if the community raised the required funds.

An increased traffic volume of more than three times the current recorded figure was the only scenario put forward by VicRoads in which St Colman’s School would receive electronic flashing speed signs.

Last week, VicRoads denied St Colman’s School’s request for electronic signs based on traffic volume and installation costs.

This week, VicRoads was posed the hypothetical situation of having the purchase and installation costs of the signs covered by the school community.

According to VicRoads regional director Mark Koliba, even if St Colman’s School managed to raise the $60,000 estimated by the state’s road body to install the signs, the school would still not be eligible for them.

“Electronic School Speed Limit Signs (ESSLS) may be provided where they are likely to improve the safety of road users, based on demonstrated need,” Mr Koliba said.

“Where ESSLS are proposed by an external party, then the full cost of design, installation and maintenance of the ESSLS and associated infrastructure must be provided by the external party.

“Regardless of funding source, for a proposed site to be eligible, it must comply with all requirements detailed in published standards and guidelines.”

Those standards and guidelines state that for roads with less than 10,000 vehicles per day, the regular speed limit must be increased from 60 km/h to 80 km/h for electronic signs to be installed.

Even with a vehicle volume of 10,000 to 20,000, electronic signs would need director and network policy and standards approval.

Mr Koliba said St Colman’s existing signage was appropriate for the amount of traffic that drove along Dunlop Street, despite joining with the Hamilton Highway once outside the Central Business District (CBD).

“On roads where the default speed limit is 60 km/h and traffic flow is less than 5000 vehicles per day, such as at St Colman’s School in Mortlake, only a single static time-based 40 km/h sign on either side of the road is required,” he said.

“Duplicate signs are installed when traffic flow is between 5000 and 10,000 vehicles per day, and electronic signs will only be installed on roads with traffic flows between 10,000 and 20,000 vehicles per day.”

Mr Koliba told the Mortlake Dispatch last week that traffic counts along Dunlop Street, identified that 3200 vehicles travelled the road each day.

That figure was recorded in November, 2012, with no intentions to record an updated figure unless requested, something St Colman’s has indicated it would be keen to do.

Mortlake Police Senior Constable Rachel Wass said the police were supportive of better signage for the increased traffic flow in the town.

“We support St Colman’s in their endeavour,” she said.

“We get a lot of traffic, trucks and international drivers and we need to be well signed.”

In 2011, (MCDC) proposed an idea of having electronic 50 km/h signs at either end of Hamilton Highway entering Mortlake.

The eastern end electronic lights would be installed near the intersection of Townsend Street, while the western set would be installed at the top of the hill near the intersection of Polo Hill Road.

MCDC made a submission to VicRoads about the proposal and also wrote to Polwarth MP Terry Mulder but did not receive support.

Moyne Shire director of physical services Trevor Greenberger said the shire had proactively made a submission to Mr Mulder about installing flashing lights across the shire.

“We have previously lobbied for flashing lights to be installed for all schools on a highway, but are yet to hear a response,” he said.

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