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Mouat Street and Ginninderra Drive – a fatality waiting to happen

By Rollersk8r 14 November 2011 52

Some time in the last fortnight the traffic lights on Mouat Street (turning left into Ginniderra Drive) have been removed and a pedestrian crossing laid down in their place. 

I should have taken a photo – but wanted to post before someone is killed.  

I cycle this way most days and have always considered it to be the most dangerous part of my ride. 

I have witnessed drivers completely ignore the red lights – presumably because the vast majority of traffic is already doing 80kmh by the time they reach that spot.

If they couldn’t see the traffic lights then they’ve got no chance of seeing the pedestrian crossing, especially as there is no signage/warning of the change!!

This is NOT a cyclist/pedestrian vs. driver rant – the fact is a pedestrian crossing is simply not appropriate for the conditions and someone will most definitely be killed if they don’t do something about this very soon.

I’ve submitted an online request as why this decision was made.

What’s Your opinion?


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52 Responses to
Mouat Street and Ginninderra Drive – a fatality waiting to happen
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niftydog 1:26 pm 23 Aug 12

The old lights took an eternity to change, so they probably determined that nobody was pressing the buttons. The ped crossing did seem to spook a few drivers into being a bit more cautious – I had a few people make very sudden stops when they noticed me waiting on the footpath. But then, on the flip side, plenty of cocks just ignored me.

Ped crossing or lights, doesn’t matter a damn to me anyway. I just focus on the cars doing warp speed around the bend and try to pick a healthy gap between them. I don’t want my last words to be “but…but the little man was green!!”

All they would need to do is decrease the radius of the turn, make it a slower corner. Not like the merging lane isn’t two kilometres long or anything!

Felix the Cat 12:12 pm 23 Aug 12

Wow. I must admit I was skeptical about replacing the lights with a pedestrian crossing and thought this might lead to cycle/car confrontations (collisions) but have been pleasantly surprised the few times I’ve used it (as a cyclist). Maybe I’ve just been lucky but I can say I’ve had less incidents with the intersection with a pedestrian crossing rather than traffic lights.

Going back to traffic lights might just confuse people. An underpass or overpass under/over the entire intersection would ideal but would be very expensive I woud imagine and therefore not on the govt’s “to do” list (though how much does it cost to chop down traffic lights and then re-install them several months later?).

Chop71 11:14 am 23 Aug 12

Build a bridge

kennardly 10:59 am 23 Aug 12

So, the traffic lights are back in. Be interesting how that reads on the file:

1. Remove traffic lights due to high rate of rear end accidents and pedestrian collisions
2. Install pedestrian crossing
3. Remove pedestrian crossing due to high rate of rear end accidents and pedestrian collisions
4. Reinstall traffic lights in same configuration as before

Oh and they have forgotten to take down the bright yellow sign saying there is a pedestrian crossing ahead.

Hercsie 2:57 pm 20 Aug 12

Driving past today – it looks like they are removing the pedestrian crossing.

Buzz2600 5:04 pm 22 Nov 11

Grail said :

Buzz2600 said :

What part of ‘pedestrian’ don’t you understand?

What part of “crossing” don’t you understand?

The reason for the law stating that cyclists must cross is both that the laws protecting pedestrians on zebra crossings only apply to people travelling by foot. Cyclists do not have any right of way on pedestrian crossings, thus they must dismount to use the facility as per the letter of the law. The law in this instance has nothing to do with safety, and more to do with public liability insurance.

In practise, it is more dangerous to have a jogger running on the footpath parallel to the road who decides to simply dart out onto the crossing without warning, than for a bike approaching at any speed from a visible distance.

I’m quite happy with the status quo – some drivers will stop for cyclists, most cyclists will slow down when approaching crossings. They key is that drivers are given ample opportunity to stop.

There will of course always be idiots: drivers who insist on proceeding over the crossing he moment the pedestrian sets foot on the other side of the lane divider, drivers who refuse to stop regardless of the number of pedestrians trying to cross, pedestrians who cross without looking, etc.

In the meantime, the law is an ass, I’ll continue crossing while riding my bike over crossings as long as polite drivers stop to let me cross. I’ll also continue to let sensible cyclists cross regardless of whether they are using wheels or feet as a form of propulsion.

But then I also support gay marriage, equal rights for women, and individual responsibility. I am aware that my point of view is not shared by the majority of the population.

Hang on, you state it’s because of the law and public liability that cyclist have to get off and walk. Ever considered that the government *could* amend the law if they wanted? Why don’t they? Because it would mean cyclist would have legal right of way, crossing at speeds of up to 40 – 50 kms per hour without regard for their own safety or that of others. But, of course, following your logic, it’s always the drivers fault.

If you bothered to actually read my original comment, I said:

“I have no problem with pedestrian crossing and I usually give way to cyclists but … I agree there is a potential accident waiting to happen here, with the speed of cars turning at this intersection and cyclists not obeying the road rules.

On the weekend, a couple of small kids on bikes came hooting across Ginninderra Road weaving through the line of cars (that were waiting to turn right into Mouat) and straight across the pedestrian crossing at speed.

I stopped in time …but only just. As they pedalled away, my passenger rolled down his window and called out to them (probably 7 or 8 years olds) to watch out or they could be hurt, only to receive a torrent of abuse which included, ironically, “it’s a f**king pedestrian crossing”. Charming.”

Perhaps, just maybe … there are cyclists (as highlighted in my example) that hoon across pedestrian crossings without looking, without braking and then having the audacity to abuse drivers for not giving way! Just saying….

Keijidosha 4:35 pm 22 Nov 11

The biggest joke of this situation is that at some point the gubmint spent millions of dollars building a footbridge 100m further up Ginninderra Drive that I have probably seen half a dozen people use in the last 20 years. The bridge spans a gap between nowhere North Lyneham to somewhere old Lyneham, completely off the path for the majority of people who are using Moatt Street.

Go figure.

Grail 3:08 pm 22 Nov 11

Buzz2600 said :

What part of ‘pedestrian’ don’t you understand?

What part of “crossing” don’t you understand?

The reason for the law stating that cyclists must cross is both that the laws protecting pedestrians on zebra crossings only apply to people travelling by foot. Cyclists do not have any right of way on pedestrian crossings, thus they must dismount to use the facility as per the letter of the law. The law in this instance has nothing to do with safety, and more to do with public liability insurance.

In practise, it is more dangerous to have a jogger running on the footpath parallel to the road who decides to simply dart out onto the crossing without warning, than for a bike approaching at any speed from a visible distance.

I’m quite happy with the status quo – some drivers will stop for cyclists, most cyclists will slow down when approaching crossings. They key is that drivers are given ample opportunity to stop.

There will of course always be idiots: drivers who insist on proceeding over the crossing he moment the pedestrian sets foot on the other side of the lane divider, drivers who refuse to stop regardless of the number of pedestrians trying to cross, pedestrians who cross without looking, etc.

In the meantime, the law is an ass, I’ll continue crossing while riding my bike over crossings as long as polite drivers stop to let me cross. I’ll also continue to let sensible cyclists cross regardless of whether they are using wheels or feet as a form of propulsion.

But then I also support gay marriage, equal rights for women, and individual responsibility. I am aware that my point of view is not shared by the majority of the population.

Holden Caulfield 2:58 pm 22 Nov 11

@Rollersk8r, good feedback, thanks.

Rollersk8r 2:53 pm 22 Nov 11

I just had a follow up call from Mark at Roads ACT. It’s a bit of a long story and he was very good about it all. He said there’s a fair bit of history there – it’s one of the only slip lanes in Canberra to have had traffic lights. According to a very long list of complaints the traffic lights were unpopular with both motorists and cyclists. For motorists it was an inconvenient place to stop and for cyclists the signals took too long to change.

Pedal Power have made numerous representations over this intersection and were the primary drivers of the new shared “community path”, which continues down to Northbourne on the opposite side of the road. Also, the community path allows cyclists and pedestrians to avoid the apartment construction work right down the other end (on the corner of Mouat and Northbourne).

Another minor point on the slip lane itself is that it’s mostly a cycling route, not a pedestrian route (I agree). They are hopeful cyclists will see the benefits of avoiding the slip lane, and all the driveways etc on that side of the street, and use the community path. Apparently they’ve been out observing the intersection and it’s working more or less as planned – more people are switching over (and I’m one of them).

Roads ACT is aware that most traffic is already accelerating up to 80kmh long before they’re on Ginninderra Drive. They have notified police of the changes to the slip lane and recommended speed checks.

Bottom line is they will monitor the situation and will not rule out putting the traffic lights back up.

Personally I still feel something bad could happen there but at least they were good enough to call for a chat and let me know the factors they’re weighing up.

Watson 7:30 am 16 Nov 11

I shouldn’t really be surprised that some managed to turn this into a car vs cyclist rant…

I noticed the lights were gone the other day. I cannot remember ever stopping there when I drive there though. Not that it matters, it just is a dangerous spot for a zebra crossing.

Maybe not quite as dangerous as the new one they made at the turn off from Kings Ave bridge onto the Parkway though. The first time I saw that one – when I was already too close to have been able to stop – I could just not believe that anyone in their right mind could’ve even considered making a crossing there. And without lights at that. If you drive there regularly, you know to take care, though it’s just not a good spot to slow down as you have to merge into fast flowing traffic a few metres further.

OT, but the rules regarding zebra crossings and pedestrian lights are confusing to say the least. I tried to get a zebra crossing on Knox St, close to the primary school as it is quite dangerous to cross there with kids. But I was told that they could not put a zebra crossing there because “it is only busy in peak hour and it would be unfair to make cars slow down there the rest of the day when there’s no pedestrians crossing”. I think they even said that cars would not expect pedestrians there if they are only there during those peak times and would then start ignoring the crossing. Huh?

toriness 9:46 pm 15 Nov 11

tidalik said :

stormboy said :

Have you not realised that there is a lovely new shared path for your use on the OTHER side of Mouat St and you can use the pedestrian lights to get you there from Nth Lyneham? It has got to be better to cross the entry to a carpark than where the new zebra crossing is.This then links up with a new set of pedestrian lights at the top of the Sullivans Creek path.

It’s been a few months since I rode this route, but I recall that you couldn’t cross across the carpark entrance. There simply wasn’t a crossing – you would have had to go onto the road to get around concrete median. It seemed crazy to me to build a beaut new cycle path and then make it really difficult to get onto that path.

the last time i rode it (also a few months) this was the case which is CRAZY! there is an ‘on ramp’ onto the start of the path from the road ie assuming that the cyclists will be joining from the road – either ginniderra or ellenborough). other than that there are only ‘hard’ entries or exits over the gutters.

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