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Pedestrian Crossings – Pedestrian beware

By Peter Holland 9 July 2008 36

From my office window, I get to see one of the 2 pedestrian crossings on Townshend street in Phillip. I have seen all manner of accidents, near misses and closer encounters (that the pedestrians would wish for). My questions are:

How many people slow down for pedestrian crossings, or take the time to check that the crossing is free?

Who is exempt from stopping at a pedestrian crossing, can the elderly get away with just driving through and waving at the bemused pedestrian? (occasionally, this has been me on the crossing)

what is the speed limit down Townshend street anyway? (there aren’t any signs)

anyone?

What’s Your opinion?


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36 Responses to
Pedestrian Crossings – Pedestrian beware
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peterh 11:33 am 10 Jul 08

Vic Bitterman said :

peterh, you should set up a video camera and post the results of these near misses on youtube… if it’s as serious as you say, then something needs to be done…

hmmmm. Video camera and youtube. that would be an interesting exercise at my place of work, the video camera I could get from home, but neither my system at home or at work will run to the youtube site – home one is too slow, work one is protected by a bluecoat server. bluecoat tells me that youtube is a “fun” site, no going there.

s-s-a 10:49 am 10 Jul 08

If a cyclist stops (still astride their bike) and waits at the crossing and then rolls across is it that much of a big deal? We will actually be across and out of your way faster than if we get off to walk.

At the crossing near Woden Library I had my 4yo in tow on the hitch bike, so instead of both of us getting off she was still seated and I had both feet down astride my bike. A lady coming towards the crossing started to slow down, looked straight at me then kept driving. Since she parked just past the crossing and got out of her car I decided to ask her why she didn’t stop and she told me because I was supposed to dismount and walk across. This is on the main cyclepath thoroughfare into and through Woden Town Centre

I mean FFS people, apply some common sense. Of course cyclists who ride straight out onto crossings are idjits, but if a cyclist is stopped beside a pedestrian crossing with their bike pointed across the roadway, what makes you think this indicates anything OTHER than “I am waiting to cross the road”??

swamiOFswank 10:15 am 10 Jul 08

My gripe is with the louts, thugs, dealers and yahoo’s who zip out on either bikes or skateboards just near Subway on Emu Bank at Belco. Many a time they’ve come down the hill from Chandler Street and either stacked it on the pavement bumps at the bottom – ending up a sprawled-out heap of humanity on the crossing (skaters), or just fly across on bikes right in front of on-coming traffic.

This particular crossing needs to be fenced/open gated off so that only pedestrians can enter, with pavement bumps right the way across to prevent the skate hoods becoming bumper-bait.

Clown Killer 7:42 am 10 Jul 08

Is it law that a motorist is supposed to stop until the pedestrian is completely off the crossing or just out of the way of the front of the vehicle?

Felix, way back when I learned to drive the rule used to be that at school crossings (the ones with the flags and poles) you had to stop until everyone was off the road. At pedestrian crossings (the white stripes on the road) you just had to stop while the people were in front of you.

Felix the Cat 7:34 am 10 Jul 08

I reckon it would be a good idea if all pedestrian crossings were raised instead of being level with the road this way it would force car drivers to slow down and then they might actually see the pedestrians instead of whizzing through. Agreed that it is a two-way street (so to speak…) and pedestrians and motorists need to look out for each other. Some pedestrians think that as soon as they step out onto a crossing an invisible force field surrounds them and no harm can come to them.

bigred 10:45 pm 09 Jul 08

The only pedestrian crossing where cyclist are a real issue is the one on David ST O’Connor/Turner. BTW, anyone seen the new cyclist crossing on De Burgh St yet? That’ll p#ss off the ratrunners from gungahlin.

Felix the Cat 9:41 pm 09 Jul 08

shiny flu said :

The only exception to Pedestrian Crossings are bicycle riders.

If you are riding a bike, you must dismount and walk across the crossing ONLY if you want cars to give way to you. If however you choose to ride across and don’t dismount, you must give way to EVERY other vehicle/pedestrians i.e. cars have right of way.

As someone who rides a lot and drives a bit… this rule is oft forgotten. I’ve almost killed idiots on K-mart bikes riding as fast as they can across the crossing, but have seen many people on bikes slow down and wait for a car to stop and then continue riding (which is ok with me as a driver). Other than that, I always scan the road and at least slow down to 30km/h.

I don’t understand why everybody gets all stressed over cyclists riding across pedestrian crossings? As long as the cyclist slows down looks to see what traffic is aproaching and rides across (not at a hundred miles an hour but at a pace above walking speed) then the car driver doesn’t have to wait as long and the cyclist is on their way so it’s a win/win situation. Fair enough for car drivers to get upset if the pushy rider wizzes out from nowhere at warp speed and flies across the crossing but not if the biker is sensible about it.

Is it law that a motorist is supposed to stop until the pedestrian is completely off the crossing or just out of the way of the front of the vehicle?

bd84 9:29 pm 09 Jul 08

Canberra is as bad as everywhere else in this one, there are a lot bad drivers out there, I watch people running the gauntlet on a pedestrian crossing walking to work everyday. I’m careful driving near them and when walking across them as I know a lot of people don’t bother stopping or looking. But then red lights don’t stop people either as I found out nearly getting run down by the moron in the silver mercedes coupe on london cct about a month ago.

Half the problem is where they put them as well, in slip lanes at most major traffic lights catches most people out because they’re too busy looking for traffic to give way to, and all the rediculous ones in the city just after intersections with give way signs. Alinga Street and Moore St/West Row is a good example of stupidity with near misses everyday that would average well over 10, and when the traffic comes to a 4 way stop as people cross the road.

As for around the canberra centre, they should just close bunda street to general traffic between 7am and 8pm except for delivery traffic, you would have to be crazy to try and get through during the day, unless you want to wait for 10 minutes for a gap in pedestrians.

shiny flu 8:54 pm 09 Jul 08

The only exception to Pedestrian Crossings are bicycle riders.

If you are riding a bike, you must dismount and walk across the crossing ONLY if you want cars to give way to you. If however you choose to ride across and don’t dismount, you must give way to EVERY other vehicle/pedestrians i.e. cars have right of way.

As someone who rides a lot and drives a bit… this rule is oft forgotten. I’ve almost killed idiots on K-mart bikes riding as fast as they can across the crossing, but have seen many people on bikes slow down and wait for a car to stop and then continue riding (which is ok with me as a driver). Other than that, I always scan the road and at least slow down to 30km/h.

ant 8:48 pm 09 Jul 08

I go over a humped-up pedestrian crossing in Qbn every day, and you really have to peer around as there’s gardens and trees and all kinds of stuff for them to hide behind. Oddly, I haven’t seen any cyclists trying to take advantage though.

Some pedestrian crossings in Canberra seem to be regarded by cyclists as bicycle crossings. I dont’ stop for cyclists on pedestrian crossings.

bigred 7:32 pm 09 Jul 08

Look pedestrians are fair game in Canberra. People just should NOT walk anwhere. The traffic lights are all sequenced incorrectly and in my view are for decoration. If you want to walk across a road, take a deep breath and move as fast as your legs will move you.

Bundybear 7:11 pm 09 Jul 08

I am extremely conscious of pedestrians and always slow down, check, wave people through, etc. (I also leave room for people to merge into my lane in front of me from roads on my left – no saint I promise but I like it when people smile at me.) Have to say that pedestrians in Canberra are just about the worst I’ve ever encountered, especially in and around the city. Traffic lights seem to be used only as a gauge of wether you should :Green – amble across at your leisure, those cars waiting to turn left can wait for the lights to go through a full cycle again, I don’t hurry for anyone; Amber – power walk across six lanes and a huge median strip so all the car drivers can see how purposeful you are and acknowledge you WILL keep walking because you have places to be; Red – ensure your glare is turned up to full power in case any idiot thinks that just because he has a green light and yours is on red he has some sort of right to actually proceed in your general direction as you proceed to cross against the lights insanely as well as illegally.

Vic Bitterman 5:38 pm 09 Jul 08

peterh, you should set up a video camera and post the results of these near misses on youtube… if it’s as serious as you say, then something needs to be done…

The Brad 4:12 pm 09 Jul 08

Foot traffic is minimal
Which is probably why they are crossings and not lights. No foot traffic = no need to stop.

it’s safe enough to cross with the strip in the middle
I respectfully disagree. Sometimes it’s not safe to cross at all, crossing included. Especially between 4.30 and 5.30pm when it’s really busy, and is a bit like a dragway towards the roundabout…… Crossing the road to get to the gym is a risk in itself sometimes.

peterh 4:12 pm 09 Jul 08

barking toad said :

There shouldn’t be pedestrian crossings on Townshend Street.

Foot traffic is minimal and it’s safe enough to cross with the strip in the middle.

try doing that with a pram or stroller – very interesting to watch. lady today almost got cleaned up by:

a) bus
b) car
c) truck
d) car who had stopped too quickly at the pedestrian crossing – slid a bit.

barking toad 3:42 pm 09 Jul 08

There shouldn’t be pedestrian crossings on Townshend Street.

Foot traffic is minimal and it’s safe enough to cross with the strip in the middle.

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