In March 2021, Council began a six-month trial of an innovative polka dot road safety treatment to encourage drivers to slow down and particularly near the recently introduced outdoor dining venues located in the heart of Yarraville Village. Treatments were installed at:
- Anderson/Ballarat Street intersection (southern end of the new outdoor dining pop-up park)
- Canterbury/Ballarat Street intersection (between the old and new pop-up park)
- Bend of Anderson Street with Willis Street intersection
Council later added temporary speed humps, signage and additional barriers following concerns from some members of the community around children’s safety.
Council intended to evaluate the trial after six months, however, this was put on hold as a result of the State Government imposed lockdowns which restricted use of the areas reducing the ability to undertake a meaningful review.
Now that pedestrian and traffic movements are returning to normal, Council is able to again collect data to support the trial evaluation. An additional road safety audit from October supports the polka dots remaining in place until the results from these studies are known, which we anticipate will be in the first quarter of 2022.
A history of the trial
Polka dots are an innovative traffic calming treatment – literally painted onto the pavement – proven to reduce driver speeds in areas where there is the potential for conflict between vehicles and pedestrians.
The nature of the trial required the treatment to be installed before it could be evaluated. This included gathering community feedback on the way the treatment performed in situ.
Council did engage in a face-to-face conversation with the community at the Yarraville Market in March 2021, where we asked residents about their thoughts around the continuation of the trial if it was shown to contribute to road safety. From a total of 176 responses, 68% (120 responses) responded 'yes’, 23% (41 responses) ‘no’ and 9% (15 responses) ‘unsure’.
Noting initial concerns from some members of the community, Council also installed temporary speed humps and made application to the Department of Transport (DoT) to turn Ballarat Street into a shared zone for pedestrians and vehicles, reducing speeds and prioritising pedestrians. This was not supported.
Given the COVID-19 related delays in the trial evaluation, Council commissioned an additional road safety audit in October, which has noted the additional measures – including the temporary speed humps and planter boxes installed in April – have mitigated concerns around previous risks to the community and road users.
Streamlining our conversation
There’s a lot happening in Yarraville Village. This includes this conversation about Polka Dots, the temporary pop-up parks, the Outdooring Dining venues, and the planned transport study by Metro Trains Melbourne to look at future traffic flow options around the village.
To make it easier for the Yarraville community to keep up to date with all the conversations taking place, we have created a dedicated Yarraville Village conversation page: www.yourcityyourvoice.com.au/yarraville-village where we’ll be talking all things Yarraville going forward. This is also where you will find future updates on the polka dot trial.