7 December 2005

New Traffic Lights on Bunda Street

| Samuel Gordon-Stewart
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For those of you who have the misfortune of travelling along Bunda Street in Civic, you may be interested to know that the pedestrian crossing in the middle of the Canberra Centre is gaining traffic lights, and presumably losing the pedestrian crossing (can you imagine having a pedestrian crossing in the middle of the traffic lights???).

Given the fact that most people who walk through the area are incapable or unwilling to follow traffic light instructions, I don’t think this will truly improve the traffic flow or safety. It will probably lead to more running across the road, as does happen at most other traffic light intersections in Civic.

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I have thought they need traffic lights there for ages. It is hopeless at lunchtimje – a steady stream of straggling pedestrians means cars wait 10 minutes and back up down the street.
I don’t think people will run the lights too much – in Melbourne central huge amounts of people wait for lights then all cross together.
I like the new CAnberra Centre. I wish they’d left a bit of parking around Civic though.

Civic used to be unique… now its just urban sprawl

It’s a city, cities get developed.

that whole canberra centre development is a gift to developers by the govt.

once there was a view of mt ainslie visible from the square in front of the legislative assembly.

now its all avaricious temples expanding block by block.

as you all know there is a shortage of trinkets and frocks shops in canberra.

I was under the impression that the Canberra Centre was built over the top of an existing public thoroughfare.

Surely closing off Bunda Street would simply hand public land over the private sector in a land grab by stealth?

On good authority I was told this was put to the govt earlier in the year, here’s the response from back then:

Development-Canberra Centre

(Question No 148)

Mrs Burke asked the Minister for Urban Services, upon notice, on 16 February 2005:

Will the Canberra Central implementation team consider the through traffic conditions in Bunda Street, Canberra City, with particular focus on closing off the street to through traffic at the pedestrian crossing that connects the two sections of the Canberra Centre.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

Canberra Central Project Team is currently developing a traffic model for the City area. Once the model is completed the Canberra Central Project Team will be testing different scenarios for traffic circulation within the City.

In all scenarios the key objective will be to give priority to pedestrian access and public transport in the City.

The impact of the current and proposed city bus links, as well as the proposed major commercial and retail developments, will also be tested in the model.

Until these models are run and the various implications analysed, such as safety and the amenity of users, it is not proposed that the Canberra Central Project Team give particular focus to closing Bunda Street to traffic.

Closing Bunda Street, as with any street, needs very careful consideration, as it has the potential to reduce the permeability and accessibility of the City, as well as reduce casual surveillance in the evenings as set out through the Governments adopted crime prevention through environmental design principles.

It’s a disaster waiting to happen. – they should have put a traffic tunnel under the crossing! That’s what they do in Sydney!

Growling Ferret8:43 am 08 Dec 05

Or is it time to close Bunda St down, and have it a vibrant community pedestrian boulevard/taxi only shared zone?

I don’t quite understand the rationale for allowing cars at all, frankly. It’s not like there aren’t other ways to access either end of that stretch of road.

That said, the pedestrian system seems to work reasonably well except in very heavy periods of (shopper) traffic.

I would keep the pedestrian crossing and just install temporary traffic lights during peak periods such as the Christmas rush.

Maybe a round a bout is the answer. One that pedestrians can get on as well.

I think it will improve things for cars when there’s a lot of pedestrians. If the pedestrians keep coming against the lights, the car (with a green light) slowly edges forward and through – pedestrians aren’t stupid, just a bit game sometimes. If it’s clear that it’s not their turn, they’ll wait. Most of them will anyway, you’ll still get the odd invincible hero striding confidently through moving traffic.

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