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Motorists to have their say on Hobart transport

Motorists in greater Hobart are being asked to have their say on a new strategy that addresses how the capital city can improve mobility in the area.

The Hobart City Council has approved its draft Transport Strategy 2018-30 and released it for public consultation. Have your say on the new strategy at hobartcity.com.au/transportstrategy.

Infrastructure Tasmania figures from January show there are 220,000 people living in greater Hobart, with an expected increase of 20,000 in the next 10 years.

The figures also showed that 83% of all journeys to work in Hobart were by car, the highest of all Australian capital cities.

The council, which decided on eight pillars for the strategy, will allocate close to $500,000 per year towards its implementation - amounting to $4.75 million over the next decade.

The strategy’s eight key pillars include:

Decisions based on current data

Working with the State Government to ensure infrastructure funding, land use and transport planning that can manage traffic hot spots across the city. As part of a Smart Cities approach this could include real-time traffic and public transport information that could be accessed by commuters on smart phone applications. This would help people select the best travel option and could also include the collection of pedestrian movement data.

Transport planning for future outcomes

Plan for walking and bicycle networks in the CBD area and open up spaces for infrastructure to support these networks. Collaborate with the Glenorchy City Council to understand and preserve the western shore rail corridor, including identifying the opportunities, implications and work involved to bring the project to life. Commence, with the Department of State Growth, planning to consider how buses, light rail and ferries will integrate through a city transport interchange. Continue planning work for the City to Cove project from 2017 to better link pedestrians and cyclists to the waterfront and the proposed River Derwent ferry service. As part of the ferry service, there is also a need to secure land access for ferry wharf sites. Ensure public transport facilities and corridors as well as cycleway spaces are provided in developing Macquarie Point. Advocate for active travel infrastructure as the city expands and identify appropriate parking stations in central Hobart.

Walking

Hobart has the highest number of people walking to work of any Australian city, at about 7% as of January, according to Infrastructure Tasmania. Strategy needs to focus on “destination” walking, including to workplaces, shops, services and schools. A plan to improve the walking network would include: the identification of key routes, requirements for people of all abilities, capital works and street management such as vehicle speed, pedestrian crossings, crossing timers and bike symbols, as well as furnishing streets with durable paving and street furniture.

More bikes

A bicycle plan that expands on the use of bikes. This would be based on: connecting new key routes to the existing network, developing neighbourhood networks - possibly on back streets – with the support of wayfinding, as well as recreational, sporting and beginner cyclist facilities. Also involved in this pillar is the provision of details on active cycle routes to schools and the access to retail precincts.

Public transport to ease congestion

In conjunction with State Growth, Metro Tasmania and private operators, develop a plan for short, medium and long term public transport solutions in Hobart’s CBD. This would include buses, ferries and light rail and associated infrastructure. Also investigate future routes to Salamanca and Macquarie Point and advocate for a seamless single system for transport information, ticketing and payments. Work to ensure the support of taxis and Uber drivers, partner with UTAS to establish a bicycle share and car share program at an accommodation site and explore park and ride facilities in Hobart.

Smart parking

Continue the use of electric vehicle charging facilities seen in the Hobart Central Car Park and the roll out of a new parking system where motorists can pay through mobile apps. These could identify pricing rates and available car spaces to reduce CBD traffic, while also alerting parking officers to drivers parked in clearways. Advocate for parking stations at suburban centres to encourage park and ride by public transport and develop a policy on allocating parking spaces for car-sharers. Investigate the use of a private car parking space levy in the CBD to be used on pedestrian improvements. Work to centralise parking in city centre or suburban centres rather than through individual commercial land owners. Develop a “parklet” program where businesses or individuals can host a small park in place of an on street parking space for bike parking.

Moving people

Work with TasPorts to improve pedestrian linkages between Hobart’s CBD and the waterfront as well as improving wayfinding and signage around Hobart.

Managing the traffic network

Develop a Smart Roads plan, like in Victoria, where road use is allocated to different modes of transport at different times of the day. This includes bus and bicycle lanes during morning and afternoon peak periods but prioritising parking during the middle of the day. Also being considered is workplace travel plans where people are encouraged to consider public transport, walking or cycling, shifting their journey outside of peak hour, avoiding a trip by working from home or finding alternate routes to work. There is also the consideration of 40km/h speed limits in residential areas and the Hobart CBD. In addition there could be a suburban trial of a UK-style shared street zone, which involves reduced speed limits to grant equal priority to all modes of transport alongside pedestrians. There are also plans to install and upgrade pedestrian and cycling infrastructure as well as the provision of an online portal to help commuters plan their journeys.

The Federal and State governments’ Hobart City Deal agreement, reached in January, included assessing the feasibility of future public transport options such as busways, light rail or ferries.