By Taylah Eastwell
Concerned Mt Dandenong residents gathered at Burke’s Lookout last week as Yarra Ranges Council staff officially announced a range of new measures to combat hooning and anti-social behaviour on the mountain.
Following feedback from locals and police, new car counting strips have been placed across popular sections of road in the hills.
Yarra Ranges Council Traffic and Transport Coordinator Tom Dwyer told residents the new strips count cars, vehicle size, speed and the time of travel.
The data will be passed on to local police to track how traffic movements may have changed when compared with data from previous car counting strips.
Other measures announced at the meeting include new ‘no stopping’ restrictions to be installed along both sides of Ridge Road in the vicinity of Eyre Road, extending past Observatory Road and Bonnie View Road.
An announcement was also made about parking controls to soon be implemented on Eyre Road and Omata Road, with the aim of restricting parking between 10pm and 6am to deter anti-social gatherings at night.
Mr Dwyer said the signs are expected to go up in three to four weeks.
Council is also currently working on a contract to place two speed cushions on Eyre Road which aim to reduce vehicle speeds and discourage hooning behaviour.
Local residents were also asked what they think of hiring a private security firm to move people on from hotspot areas.
Mt Dandenong resident Vanessa said a lot of other areas have dealt with anti-social behaviour in this way and said the private security officers have cameras front and back in their cars which gets passed on to police.
A clear majority of residents at Thursday’s meeting raised their hand in favour of the idea, with costs to be spread between residents. The hiring of private security would be completely independent of council initiatives. It was concluded the private security idea is an option to be explored further by the residents.
Mt Dandenong resident Chris Hill said closing the carparks would be more effective.
“As far as the community having to hire private security, it just gets a bit silly. It’s pretty simple, close off parking areas at 10pm. We are just getting overrun,” Mr Hill said.
Fellow Mt Dandenong resident, Mick believes the new traffic measures are “very proactive”.
“It is nice to see something actually happening and a bit of community communication,” he said.
“The counting of the cars is a good thing because it gives the shire and police an idea of the speeds they are doing. There has already been people killed, it’s an accident waiting to happen,” Mick said.
Ridge Road resident Anthony agreed, saying his road is used as a racetrack by hoons.
“It’s a shame because it’s a tourist area, 80 per cent of the tourists are great but its that 20 percent that come and throw rubbish and graffiti,” he said.
“The minority group is very loud and are destroying it for everyone else,” he said.
“One of the issues is noise but its also when you have your family and friends visit you on the mountain, they are in direct danger as well, and so are the tourists that come and do the right thing,” he said.
“All of us will be ringing triple zero. If I see a car parking near these no standing signs I’ll be ringing the police. Police want us to ring 000 because they need the data and statistics, so I’ll be giving them calls,” he said.