Pioneering polka dots trial

Published on 01 April 2021


We’re making changes to support pedestrian safety at the site of the polka dot trials at three intersections at Yarraville.

In mid-March we painted a range of bright and bold polka dots on the road pavement to encourage drivers to slow down and give more visibility to other road users – pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers

In response to conversations with local residents, concerns raised by some community members regarding the safety of child pedestrians, and the recommendations of an independent Road Safety Audit, we’re installing temporary speed cushions at the intersection of Ballarat/Canterbury Street for the duration of the trial.  

We’ll also be making some modifications at the Anderson/Ballarat Street intersection and the bend of Anderson/Willis Street, proactively installing speed cushions at both locations, in line with recommendations of the independent Road Safety Audit.

Data collected reveals that most vehicles travel through these areas below 30 km/hr, however due to community concerns and as the polka dots are a new traffic management approach for road users, Council is installing the cushions to further enhance road user safety. This additional measure will slow cars down even more and increase awareness of drivers.

There are a total of six speed cushions being installed – one either side of each polka dot installation – to further enhance pedestrian safety by forcing traffic to slow down as they travel through the area. The speed cushions will be installed before Easter.

Council has also submitted an application with the Department of Transport (DoT) to turn the intersection of Ballarat/Canterbury Street – where the dots are – into a shared zone where pedestrians would have priority of the road and vehicular speed limits would reduce to 20 km/hr. We are hoping to hear back shortly about the outcome of this application.

Council will continue to actively monitor each of the locations to measure and evaluate road users’ interactions and implement further modifications to enhance safety as required.

The polka dots have temporarily been installed at the:

  • Anderson Street/Ballarat Street intersection (southern end of the new Outdoor Dining pop-up park)
  • Canterbury Street/Ballarat Street intersection (between the old and new pop-up park)
  • Bend of Anderson Street with Willis Street intersection

The innovative trial is in response to concerns raised about an increase in foot traffic and cyclists in areas where there is potential for conflict between vehicles and pedestrians.

Research overseas has shown motorists drive six to seven kilometres an hour slower when they encounter the colourful painted dots. Our trial is designed to understand if those results can be replicated in Maribyrnong to enhance the safety of all road users.

Council wants to hear from the community to understand any additional concerns or comments and to gauge how well the innovative treatment is working. Visit Your City Your Voice to provide feedback.

Find further information about the polka dot trial visit

Message from the Mayor, Cr Michael Clarke

This innovative trial is designed to encourage all road users – drivers, pedestrians and cyclists – to approach with additional care.

Concerns have been raised by some community members regarding the safety – and we’ve listened. We want all road users to feel safe on and around our roads which is why we’re installing temporary speed cushions at each of these location to further enhance the safety of road users, and particularly our youngest pedestrians, navigating through these spaces during the remainder of the trial period.

Maribyrnong News

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