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Calls to fix dangerous black spots on Southern Cross Drive

Lachlan Roberts 8 September 2019 72
One of two intersections on Southern Cross Drive and Ratcliffe Crescent in Florey. Photo: Google maps.

Labor MLA Tara Cheyne said this intersection on Southern Cross Drive is a major concern for residents. File photo.

Belconnen residents have expressed their safety concerns about notorious intersections on Southern Cross Drive that have been the site of serious car accidents in the last four years, calling for immediate change.

The intersections of Ross Smith Crescent, Chewings Street and Ratcliffe Crescent along Southern Cross Drive have been a major concern for Canberrans living in Scullin, Page and Florey, and are now the subject of a campaign by residents, motorists and Labor MLA Tara Cheyne.

Ms Cheyne said high volumes of traffic and poor visibility made the intersections black spots for motorists.

“Southern Cross Drive has been on our radar for a while,” Ms Cheyne said. “There was that awful crash in 2015 when a young girl died and there was a motorcycle accident early last year where a man died.

“It really is time to do something about these intersections and it is the right time in the Budget cycle. This section of road needs to be prioritised.”

Ms Cheyne has run a petition on her website advocating for upgrades along Southern Cross Drive, which has attracted close to 100 signatures and suggestions.

“Residents and passers-through are deeply concerned about their safety and the safety of others,” she told Region Media. “Many people have shared with me their concerns, the accidents and near-misses they have witnessed and their desire for change.

“We just need to take some action.”

Ms Cheyne believes investing in improvements, such as traffic lights, longer turning lanes or reduced speed limits, will make the intersections safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, particularly during peak traffic times.

Scullin Community Group president Sue White agreed, saying that it is “unnerving” living near dangerous intersections.

“Every time I drive through one of these intersections with my five-year-old son in the backseat, I remember the young girl who was killed in a crash there,” Ms White shared. “I can see how those accidents happened because it is almost impossible to see oncoming traffic.

“A lot of our residents feel like this is a safety issue but its also an unavoidable issue because we need to use those intersections to get in and out of our suburb. No one wants to live near a black spot.”

Ms White said she will feel relieved when the ACT Government proposes a solution.

“People have a number of ideas and solutions. For me, I think traffic lights would be a good solution but I am not an urban planner,” she said. “What I know is what is currently in place is not safe and not sustainable.

“The Scullin community and the Belconnen community deserve a safer solution for these black spots and it needs to be addressed.”

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72 Responses to
Calls to fix dangerous black spots on Southern Cross Drive
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3:54 am 09 Sep 19

We need safe roads, but please don't throw yet another set of traffic lights at the problem. You can't replace every single uncontrolled T intersection with traffic lights, that's not a solution! There must be some middle ground before we install a set of coloured dots that tell drivers exactly what to do; stop or go. This requires no input or skill from drivers, you don't even need to look at other cars in the intersection.... it actually dumbs the drivers down even more over time, and eventually this will lead to any uncontrolled intersection being highly hazardous.

9:15 pm 08 Sep 19

A family member of mine died last year on that intersection with no one held accountable. Wrong place, bad timing and bad sight lines blamed including the intersection! Yes the intersection needs to be safer for everyone, sorry if saving lives inconveniences everyone so you can get home or to work 2 minutes sooner!

8:56 pm 08 Sep 19

Or install people that can drive?

8:45 pm 08 Sep 19

Many roads in West Belconnen are badly designed, such as Southern Cross Dr.

Another example:

In the time that we have lived in the area, 13 people have been killed (and many more badly injured) on Kingsford Smith Dr between Ginninderra Dr and Alpen St, a distance of 1.6km. If these deaths had occurred on a 1 mile stretch of road in Inner Canberra, would inaction still continue?

8:17 pm 08 Sep 19

Have police presence there for some peak times. Immediate “learnding” for those goodly Canberra drivers.

8:14 pm 08 Sep 19

There's a lot to be said for simple + shaped intersections on arterial roads but the planners had to show how clever they were

8:02 pm 08 Sep 19

Yes please

8:00 pm 08 Sep 19

Intersections on southern cross drive entering Higgins and Scullin are worse than these ones but nothing gets done about them

7:40 pm 08 Sep 19

As a Florey resident who lives near these intersections and uses them everyday, they are poorly designed. I think lights would be a nightmare but something needs to be done

7:20 pm 08 Sep 19

Yes!!! Long overdue.

7:01 pm 08 Sep 19

Nothing wrong with the road

6:59 pm 08 Sep 19

Promote it as a rainbow intersection and Barr and the Greens will upgrade immediately.

6:56 pm 08 Sep 19

Don't blame the road.

JC 6:44 pm 08 Sep 19

Agree some of them probably need lights now to increased traffic volumes.

But not sure about poor visibility being an issue. Provided you drive like you are meant to which is slow down, look and Giveway you can see what is coming. It is those that down slow down and give way that cause the accidents.

6:43 pm 08 Sep 19

Take licenses off bad drivers. Pretty simple. No need to inconvenience everyone else on that already under utilised road

    7:37 am 09 Sep 19

    Edgar Sharp How do you identify bad drivers.? We know speed and alcohol correlate with crashes so do you permanently remove the licence of anyone who speeds? We certainly do need to control car use but the reality is some people are not as good at driving as others. All the evidence shows controlling speeds makes it easier for those of limited skill to not have crashes.

    7:57 am 09 Sep 19

    Yes we'd have to limit speed to let everyone drive, but how slow do you go before it's just ridiculous? My preference is take the poorly skilled drivers off the road, which can be judged by basic things like an inability to negotiate an intersection, maintain a speed relevant to surrounding traffic, poor lane position, poor reaction speed, poor awareness of their surroundings, etc... It's very easy to spot them but the current system does nothing to keep them away from the rest of us.

6:39 pm 08 Sep 19

Would be nice if we could improve driving

6:32 pm 08 Sep 19

Yeah wow, how long does it take....? how many more incidents? similar consideration should be put on the Monaro to Cooma. Put in traffic lights and slip lanes where they are needed.

6:28 pm 08 Sep 19

It's the bloody idiot drivers. Not the intersection.

olfella 6:26 pm 08 Sep 19

Yea we need more traffic lights. What ever happened to drivers looking at where they are going? Those intersections are open with no vision issues, so what happened to drivers care and attention?

6:15 pm 08 Sep 19

Great idea!

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