TRY crossing Strathfieldsaye Road as school starts and ends - it is difficult to say the least.
There are hopes someone will one day build an underpass under the Blucher Street intersection to make it easier for pedestrians, including children, to negotiate a road that now carries 15,000 vehicles every day, Strathfieldsaye resident Catherine Wilby says.
Regional Roads Victoria is in the midst of consultations on the future of a 9.5km stretch of Strathfieldsaye Road and a 10km stretch of the McIvor Highway in nearby Junortoun.
Both stretches start and end at the Reservoir Road and Longlea Lane intersections, both cut through burgeoning growth suburbs and both carry roughly the same number of cars a day.
RRV has just released two brief engagement summaries of public consultations, promising longer reports later this year and to further investigate safety problems and ways to tackle escalating traffic volumes.
About 100 homes a year were being built in Strathfieldsaye and traffic was often concentrated on one block housing two primary schools, two kindergartens and a childcare centre.
New traffic lights installed last year at the Tannery Lane intersection had made a world of difference near one end of the suburb, but more needed to be done near shops at the Blucher Street intersection she said.
"That Blucher Street end is a bit of a nightmare," Ms Wilby said.
"There's no traffic lights or roundabout there and it's virtually impossible for children or other pedestrians to cross the road at those peak times."
In Junortoun, the major problem was conflict between local motorists turning on and off of the highway and those travelling through the suburb, which tended to move a little faster.
"Some of the local roads have turning lanes but many of them don't," Junortoun Community Action Group secretary Kevin de Vries said.
"So you get a lot of rear-end collisions where cars wishing to turn into their side-street are getting collected by through-traffic."
Junortoun was fortunate that VicRoads had been consulting closely with the community, Mr de Vries said.
"We've had some very constructive dialogue with them," he said.
The JCAG was waiting eagerly for further plans and had made a number of suggestions.
It hoped to see more turning lanes and more speed reductions in times to come, as well as infrastructure to make it easier for children and the elderly to cross the road at the O'Keefe Rail Trail and near the general store.
One suggestion kicked around during RRV public consultations was duplicating the highway.
"That might solve some of the problems but it is not something that our committee is super-keen on just yet because it could divide the community," Mr de Vries said.
"The northern and southern part of Junortoun are already divided by a road that is very difficult for young people and the elderly to cross. If you are not careful a divided highway would divide the community even more.
"So any proposal put forward by VicRoads should keep this community together and make it easier to move around, rather than create an additional barrier."
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