Melbourne Morons on the road

Motorists in pedestrian areas – is there something about No Entry they don’t understand?

Some of those of us who hang around the city are truly amazed at the number of motorists who ignore the “No Entry” and turn ban signs and drive along streets they’re not meant to.

So it’s nice to know that — just occasionally — they do get pulled over by the police.

Bourke Street near Swanston Street (1/3)

Bourke Street near Swanston Street (2/3)

Bourke Street near Swanston Street (3/3)

Unfortunately others seem to get away with it scot free — and it’s unclear to me why police seem to be less keen to catch people driving through pedestrianised areas than they are to book jaywalkers.

This bloke not only ignored the No Entry signs when turning into the street, he went past multiple signs telling him to do a U-turn before this intersection, then when rightly faced with more No Entry signs, initially looked confused, then took the most-pedestrianised street (the one that even bans bicycles), the Bourke Street Mall.

Swanston St/Bourke St Mall (1/3)

Swanston St/Bourke St Mall (2/3)

Swanston St/Bourke St Mall (3/3)

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

9 replies on “Motorists in pedestrian areas – is there something about No Entry they don’t understand?”

Great that you are highlighting this illegal and dangerous behaviour.
I think the “reason” people do this is that they have a sense of entitlement – the particular law applies to everyone else except them. In any case, they have an excuse such as they need to pick the kids up and are running late. Of course! that excuses them!
Same with dog owners who walk their pooch off-lead on the footpath (but he hates being on a lead!) or a cyclist who travels on the footpath to avoid a red light (but I didn’t go through a red light, I was on the footpath!)

Are bikes really banned on Bourke St Mall? I had no idea. I’ve never tried to ride there, but I would have thought it was an obvious place to have bikes, not to ban them.

Pedestrians are an easy target – they can book 50 pedestrians for jaywalking across the 4 metres of Flinders Lane in the time it would take them to book one motorist.

@Philip: There are big “NO BIKES” signs at both ends of the mall, but in typical fashion all cyclists seem to ignore them.

Lucky there where no trams coming down Bourke Street?

Perhaps they should install some cameras to catch these motorists.

The Government loves them Speed-Revenue and Red-Light-Revenue cameras, so why not ‘Mall-Revenue cameras’ too?

I think the “reason” people do this is that they have a sense of entitlement – the particular law applies to everyone else except them.

More a sense that streets are for cars, so if there’s a street there, then cars can go there. Also that cars have priority over every other road user because they can squash the little pedestrians. The number of times I’ve been crossing the road, turned, and had a car driver sitting in the middle of the road looking at me like I was recklessly breaking the law…

Fair enough too, though; how many times have local councils and Vicroads put zig zags in pedestrian paths so car drivers can cut corners? Obviously it is only by a special consideration and generous donation that pedestrians are even allowed to go on roads.

To be fair though, the red ute driver was probably extremely confused, once he’d turned on to Swanston St. Especially with that tram next to him, it’s probably much more obvious that he’s done something wrong than what he has to do to correct it.

And what he was doing is actually probably safer than a car driving down Elizabeth St; confused drivers are much more careful than ones who believe it’s right for them to be driving here because it’s black and continuous with those pesky pedestrians having to step into *my* space.

Agree with your comment Felix. I’ve been surprised on a number of occasions to find bewildered motorists at the intersection of Bourke and Swanston, who have no idea where they’re meant to go. I know that there are ‘no entry’ and ‘u turn only’ signs there, but plainly they’re not as prominent as they need to be, as they’re fighting for attention against a lot of other road and advertising signage.

I’m not sure what you do about it though. The section of Swanston between Little Collins and Bourke certainly looks like a regular road, so you could change the pavement treatment such that it doesn’t, but then you potentially give pedestrians the false perception that they’re in a car free environment (when there will still be a relatively high number of service vehicles).

@jon – There are also plenty of bike parking facilities all over the mall, so its a bit of a mixed message being sent.

The streets are littered with too many signs, many of them are poorly located, and put where motorists observing for jaywalkers can’t see them. Nobody has omnivision.

Pedestrians tend to be easier to spot and avoid than cyclists, because of their relative speeds. (EG a car going across a pedestrian crossing has to be aware of cyclists far further up the footpath than pedestrians)

Comments are closed.