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Lib calls for action to improve safety around Mt Taylor as popularity booms

By Ian Bushnell - 12 September 2017 16

MLA Mark Parton and wife Louisa on Mt Taylor. The mountain’s growing popularity as a recreational area is prompting road safety concerns.

Liberal Member for Brindabella Mark Parton will this week call on the Legislative Assembly for the Government to adopt measures to improve road safety around Mt Taylor.

He said the growing popularity of Mt Taylor as a recreational area was creating headaches for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, and the safety of the parking area and surrounding amenities needed to be improved.

“Thousands of residents and visitors to Canberra are drawn to Mt Taylor for its spectacular views, walking and cycling trails,” he said.

“However, as Mt Taylor’s popularity increases, concern is growing over the lack of infrastructure to facilitate pedestrian, cyclist or motorist safety when entering or departing the Mt Taylor parking area.”

Mr Parton will call on the Government to improve safe entry and exits points to Mt Taylor and to provide features such as a bike lane, footpath, clear signage and lighting.

Specifically, he wants the Government to:

  • Provide visible and safe entry and exit points to the Mt Taylor carpark on Sulwood Drive with defined safe crossings for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Install lighting and a bin in the parking area
  • Consider changes to improve the intersection of Mannheim Street and Sulwood Drive with regard to the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians
  • Extend the footpath on Mannheim Street from MacKay Crescent to Sulwood Drive
  • Investigate a dedicated bike lane on Sulwood Drive

“I understand Labor member Chris Steel has been in conversation with residents who have shared similar concerns and so I am hopeful that I will have his and the Government’s full support to implement these vital improvements to public safety,” Mr Parton said.
“I hope to see the thousands of Canberra residents who visit Mt Taylor enjoy its beauty and recreational assets without fear for their safety.”

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16 Responses to
Lib calls for action to improve safety around Mt Taylor as popularity booms
wildturkeycanoe 6:28 am 19 Sep 17

Is this really about parking on Mt. Taylor or the need for a roundabout? If the latter, why not go all the way and whack one on Livingston, Inkster and Colquhoun and reduce the speed limit to 50? I’m sure it’ll please the bushwalkers, but may not be the fancy of all those thousands of commuters.
What is the big appeal of parking at Mannheim instead of the allocated parking on the other side of Mt. Taylor? If everyone started parking on the verge of William Hovell to access the Arboretum, despite there being allocated parking at the top, would not the government start moving people along?

bj_ACT 2:27 pm 18 Sep 17

Anyone saying there are only a few cars or the intersection is not busy or dangerous is kidding themselves and kidding Riotact readers,

After posting my views yesterday before lunch, I thought I should actually take an evidence approach and drive to Sulwood Drive / Mannheim St, count the cars and take photos. Just to see if peoples claims about there being less than 10 cars 90% of the time were true.

There were 43 Cars parked on the dirt area that people have been discussing and also an additional four cars parked on Manheim St and a further 3 on the other side of the road (plus a few in an off street that I suspect were also up Mt Taylor)

https://imageshack.com/i/pnaa2Z4kj

I also include a photo my wife took later in the afternoon with over 30 totally different cars doing the walk. When I drove to work this morning at 10am, I counted 21 cars (and that’s on a workday out of work hours).

I also challenge anyone to turn right out of Mannheim St onto Sulwood Drive in peak hour and anyone who can honestly say that it is an easy and safe turn, with plenty of vision up and down the road and plenty of safe merging area is crazy.

Also for those saying Sulwood doesn’t warrant long promised duplication and doesn’t get that many cars, Multi Lane main Road Coulter Dr in Belconnen had an ACT Government traffic volume count on Friday 3 Aug 2012 at two different points of the road with 4,100 and 4,250 cars counted over the day.

Sulwood Drive Kambah had a count done on Sunday 28 Feb 2010 at two different points of the road with 5,200 and 5,350 cars counted. Note also Sunday traffic much quieter than weekday.

bronal 2:05 pm 17 Sep 17

I use Sulwood Drive quite frequently and agree that it is a good idea to improve the parking and access arrangements for Mount Taylor. I think at the very least the car park and access should be sealed. At the moment, vehicles leaving the dirt car park throw up dust clouds that cause vision problems for cars travelling on Sulwood Drive.

I agree that a roundabout seems to be a bit of overkill. Vision is good in all directions. Perhaps bollards in strategic locations would stop people from driving across Sulwood Drive.

While Sulwood Drive is what I would call an arterial road, I have never felt that traffic density warrant duplication (yet).

bj_ACT 11:34 am 17 Sep 17

Ommis said :

Really? There is good vision for hundreds of metres in either direction from the car parking area on Sulwood Dve. If there are nearly accidents there then it is most likely due to stupidity and impatience.
I have cycled along Sulwood Dve hundreds of times as my commute to work and there is a verge/bike lane virtually all the way. No problem there either.
What are the actual statistics on the number of crashes at this site? There are probably several places in Canberra more in need of some road works.
There is less than ten cars there 90% of the time. Not 10-40.

Your claims absolutely false. There are not hundreds of meters of good vision in that area at all. It is right on a fast bend with cars entering and exiting in all directions and trees obscuring the view from the Western side. https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-35.3801053,149.0769829,17.66z

You need to drive up and attempt a right turn out of Mannheim and see how good the vision is.

As for accidents raw numbers don’t tell the true picture, but it’s the high risk of ‘serious crash’ that can occur on a single lane main road. Based on the last released data back to 2013 there were 43 Injury or Damage level accidents on Sulwood (between the intersections of Inkster, Mannheim, Livingston, Sainsbury, Gaunson).

I note that the disaster zone of one of the busiest suburban roads in Canberra ‘Sternberg Cres Wanniassa’ has finally just had roundabouts and traffic lights put in that now may take it off the dubious honor of actually appearing twice is the top 20 worst roads list. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberras-worst-roads-for-crashes-revealed-20150210-13as5d.html

What I do agree with you however, is that there is mostly a verge for cycling along Sulwood Drive, the issue is that in small parts of the Sulwood verge the section for cyclists almost disappears or has severe damage thus suddenly and unexpectedly forcing less experienced cyclists onto a skinny bendy road with cars doing 80kmh.

chewy14 10:09 pm 16 Sep 17

Ommis said :

Really? There is good vision for hundreds of metres in either direction from the car parking area on Sulwood Dve. If there are nearly accidents there then it is most likely due to stupidity and impatience.
I have cycled along Sulwood Dve hundreds of times as my commute to work and there is a verge/bike lane virtually all the way. No problem there either.
What are the actual statistics on the number of crashes at this site? There are probably several places in Canberra more in need of some road works.
There is less than ten cars there 90% of the time. Not 10-40.

The issue isn’t getting onto the road, the issue is having to nearly stop to get off the road and onto the dirt shoulder. It’s an 80km/hr road and people breaking when there is no defined entry/exit points causes dangerous situations.

And that’s not even starting on the idiots that cross the double lines from the other side of the road.

Ommis 3:49 pm 16 Sep 17

Really? There is good vision for hundreds of metres in either direction from the car parking area on Sulwood Dve. If there are nearly accidents there then it is most likely due to stupidity and impatience.
I have cycled along Sulwood Dve hundreds of times as my commute to work and there is a verge/bike lane virtually all the way. No problem there either.
What are the actual statistics on the number of crashes at this site? There are probably several places in Canberra more in need of some road works.
There is less than ten cars there 90% of the time. Not 10-40.

wildturkeycanoe 6:49 am 16 Sep 17

Crazed_Loner said :

There’s always one – one who has to get into an anti-bicycle rant when it’s nothing to do with the current thread……Find an appropriate outlet.

From the original article – “safe crossings for pedestrians and cyclists”;
“Investigate a dedicated bike lane on Sulwood Drive”
So it wasn’t I that brought it up if you’d bothered to read the whole thing. Bicycle lane this, roundabout that! It seems the motorists trying to get to Mt. Taylor are desperate to increase traffic congestion. Also, if they are going there for exercise, why complain about going the extra mile to access existing parking facilities?

If RiotAct isn’t an appropriate forum for debate, can you please suggest an alternative location for me to bang my head against?

Crazed_Loner 11:58 pm 15 Sep 17

wildturkeycanoe said :

If the mandate for installing bicycle lanes is simply the volume of pedal traffic and the public’s impression of rider safety, should not areas like the Cotter Road and Brindabella Road be placed at the front of the queue for bicycle lane construction? In terms of risk and number of users, it is a much higher priority and has been an issue for far longer than Mt. Taylor. And please don’t go on about budgetary restraints, because this government has blinkers on when it makes financial decisions about bicycle infrastructure, evidenced by the hundreds of kilometres of seldom used bicycle lanes and paths built at taxpayers expense.

There’s always one – one who has to get into an anti-bicycle rant when it’s nothing to do with the current thread. It sounds like you might have a little bit of an obsession going there. Cyclists beware! If you want to talk about wastes of money then perhaps you could start with the tram but that also wouldn’t be relevant here. Find an appropriate outlet.

chewy14 3:58 pm 15 Sep 17

tim_c said :

chewy14 said :

But no, you’re right. Instead of creating a car park where people would actually use it, they should drive another 3km’s to the other car park. It would be much more efficient…..

It would be more efficient than interrupting the traffic continuing along Sulwood Dr with yet another roundabout.

I’m struggling to see the call for a roundabout in the article? It could easily be a slip lane from Sulwood.

But even if it was a roundabout, how exactly would it be more efficient to expect people to drive 3km’s further to the existing carpark on Athllon? A roundabout would seem to be a sensible option that could not only provide entry to this recreational area but also reduce the accident hazards of cars trying to turn in and out of Mannheim St.

Great idea, they should put in a roundabout.

tim_c 1:19 pm 15 Sep 17

chewy14 said :

But no, you’re right. Instead of creating a car park where people would actually use it, they should drive another 3km’s to the other car park. It would be much more efficient…..

It would be more efficient than interrupting the traffic continuing along Sulwood Dr with yet another roundabout.

chewy14 12:10 pm 15 Sep 17

tim_c said :

Why does something need to be done? There are already car parks on both sides of the reserve (one accessed from Waldock St, Chifley, the other from Athllon Dr, Kambah/Torrens) – are people just too lazy to use the existing facilities?

Will there also be calls to interrupt Drakeford Dr with roundabouts between Boddington Cr and O’Halloran Cct Sth to cater to the lazy sports spectators who park illegally along the side of Drakeford Dr rather than use the existing car parking areas provided (and the same goes for Athllon Dr between Beasley St and Melrose Dr, and Yarra Glen between Kent St and Carruthers St)?

Probably has something to do with the formal paths that the government has created that start/end at Sulwood drive?

But no, you’re right. Instead of creating a car park where people would actually use it, they should drive another 3km’s to the other car park. It would be much more efficient…..

tim_c 11:25 am 15 Sep 17

Why does something need to be done? There are already car parks on both sides of the reserve (one accessed from Waldock St, Chifley, the other from Athllon Dr, Kambah/Torrens) – are people just too lazy to use the existing facilities?

Will there also be calls to interrupt Drakeford Dr with roundabouts between Boddington Cr and O’Halloran Cct Sth to cater to the lazy sports spectators who park illegally along the side of Drakeford Dr rather than use the existing car parking areas provided (and the same goes for Athllon Dr between Beasley St and Melrose Dr, and Yarra Glen between Kent St and Carruthers St)?

wildturkeycanoe 6:32 am 15 Sep 17

If the mandate for installing bicycle lanes is simply the volume of pedal traffic and the public’s impression of rider safety, should not areas like the Cotter Road and Brindabella Road be placed at the front of the queue for bicycle lane construction? In terms of risk and number of users, it is a much higher priority and has been an issue for far longer than Mt. Taylor. And please don’t go on about budgetary restraints, because this government has blinkers on when it makes financial decisions about bicycle infrastructure, evidenced by the hundreds of kilometres of seldom used bicycle lanes and paths built at taxpayers expense.

BooUrns 2:47 pm 14 Sep 17

I really hope something gets done as its quite busy. Some common sense would also go along way for drivers who access that trail, The bright spark that tried to turn right across double white lines near the crest during peak hr, im talking to you, i very nearly had a car run straight up my rear while you decide your morning walk was more important than following basic road rules.

bj_ACT 1:52 pm 12 Sep 17

This is an absolute no brainer. There are between 10 and 40 cars there at almost any time of day. The intersection is extremely dangerous and the entry and exits of some drivers are simply “another accident” waiting to happen. I saw one there are few years ago, that still haunts me.

A 4 way roundabout at the Mannheim v Sulwood intersection (with a dedicated Carpark for walkers on the Mount Taylor side) would be an inexpensive fix, that would also slow traffic on Sulwood. A very busy and winding single lane road that had been promised for Duplication in the late 1970s, but the plan was dumped when self government came in.

Other walking tracks in Canberra with far less use get their own dedicated roads and car parks (Black Mountain just one example). Why can’t the busiest walking track in Tuggeranong get one?

The ACT Government keeps talking about improving the health of Tuggeranong people who are consistently highlighted in reports as the least healthy in Canberra, but the ACT Government doesn’t actually implement facilities to help people to help themselves and has closed or let run-down a number of Basketball, tennis courts and sporting areas in Kambah alone.

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