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Southern Cross Dr Intersection with Starke St / Florey Dr

Jethro 21 November 2010 23


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I know this topic has come up before  but I figured a new post was warranted.

What the hell is with these two intersections? Are they ever going to be fixed? They are both absolute death traps.

I moved to a place quite near to both of these intersections earlier this year, and remember quite clearly that I said to Ma Bodine very early on in the piece something along the lines that, “those intersections on Southern Cross Drive just near Kippax are pretty dangerous. I reckon we will see a few accidents at them in our time here.”

9 months on I have personally driven past 5 accidents at these intersections. I’m sure there have been more. (Actually, I know there have, because I didn’t drive past the motorcyclist fatality that occurred at the corner of Southern Cross and Florey, so haven’t included it in my count.)

In the past week I have nearly been taken out 3 times while driving along Southern Cross Drive by people pulling out of one of either Starke St or Florey Dr. On all 3 occasions  I only managed to avoid these accidents because I always drive through these areas very defensively and was able to respond in time to narrowly avoid colliding with the people pulling out into my path (closest near-accident was missed by less than 6 inches – you wouldn’t have been able to walk in between the space between out cars).

I would like to make the following points.

    1. All of those turning and slip lanes do nothing but create two seriously dangerous intersections. There is too much going on, and the less competent drivers don’t know what to do, so they just pull out into oncoming traffic. These two intersections are freakin’ dangerous and need to be replaced by either lights or roundabouts (I would suggest roundabouts)

    2. If you are turning right out of either side street onto Southern Cross try to be aware that the left hand turning lane on Southern Cross Drive creates a blind spot that means you cannot see if there is any oncoming traffic… so do not pull out onto Southern Cross Drive if someone is turning left from Southern Cross onto your street – there might be oncoming traffic behind the person turning that you cannot see.

    3. If you are turning left out of Starke Street try to be aware that people who are turning right out of your street may be creating a blind spot that means you cannot see if there is any oncoming traffic – so don’t just pull out unless you are sure that you aren’t going to pull out into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

    4. If you are behind someone who is turning out of either Starke or Florey and they are following points 2 or 3, don’t flash your lights and beep your horn at them. They are following what we call ‘safe driving practices’. You are a bogan and are in the wrong.

    5. If you are on Southern Cross Drive why not try and drive the speed limit? (it’s 60, not 90) You might just be able to react in time if someone pulls out in front of you unexpectedly.

    6. If you are on Southern Cross Drive and someone in front of you is following point 5, don’t tailgate and flash your lights at them. They are doing the right thing by following the law and following what we call ‘safe driving practices’. You are a bogan and are in the wrong.

These two intersections have been annoying me for ages. But 3 near collisions in 1 week caused by idiots not driving carefully around these clearly dangerous intersections has done it for me, particularly since my kids have been in the car on all 3 occasions – endangering me is one thing, endangering my kids because you can’t be bothered waiting 3 seconds to see if the road is clear to pull out brings it up to a whole new level of anger.


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23 Responses to
Southern Cross Dr Intersection with Starke St / Florey Dr
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Jim Jones 3:20 pm 23 Nov 10

Horrid said :

People who propose roundabouts as solutions to these situations always forget one thing- that most of the improved safety for motorists comes at the expense of more dangerous conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. And yes I am aware that there is an underpass there they could use, but this only caters for one direction of movement out of several they need to use.

There are underpasses absolutely bloody everywhere around there that cater for all varieties of movement in any conceivable direction. I use them on a daily basis, as does anyone else who lives in the area, because the roads are too unpredictable.

I think a roundabout would be preferable (given that this would keep traffic moving without having to wait during quiet periods, as opposed to traffic lights), but the fact that both the K-pax turnoff and Florey Drive are both so close might preclude this from happening.

And yes, everyone coming down the hill on Southern Cross Drive should slow the f&ck down. Many people seem to regard this as an 80 zone and get all tailgaity and aggressive about it. I don’t care, my car is a piece of crap and I want someone to rear end me so that they can pay for the repairs.

wildturkeycanoe 3:08 pm 23 Nov 10

Yeah, roundabouts are the solution to everything and make the car maintenance people very happy. Has anyone noticed since roundabouts started popping up all over the place how you don’t get as many miles on you tyres as you used to? The outside of the front left gets the worst hammering.
As for the intersections in question….If people did 60 instead of 80 coming into Kippax it might help. Most of the crashed cars I’ve seen at Starke have been T-boned by cars on S.C Dr. because they either couldn’t see traffic coming both ways [obtrusive “slip lane” to left] or got fed up waiting whilst the congestion builds back almost to the underpass. Only going to get worse with the release of more land out at West Macgregor!

Genie 9:12 am 23 Nov 10

Nemo said :

Re future roadworks on this stretch of road I have raised this issue with Alistair Coe who has recently forwarded on a reply letter from John Stanhope. This says in part:

“I am advised that Roads ACT has commissioned a study to address impacts of the future development of West Macgregor and the additional traffic impact in the surrounding area. I understand that this study has now been completed and recommends the need to upgrade the intersections of Southern Cross Drive and Florey Drive along with Southern Cross Drive and Starke Street near the Kippax Centre, to roundabouts. This work has already been planned for future inclusion in the ACT Government Capital Works Program”.

Yeah they have been saying that for years ! Give us an ETA

Jethro 9:42 pm 22 Nov 10

Nemo said :

Re future roadworks on this stretch of road I have raised this issue with Alistair Coe who has recently forwarded on a reply letter from John Stanhope. This says in part:

“I am advised that Roads ACT has commissioned a study to address impacts of the future development of West Macgregor and the additional traffic impact in the surrounding area. I understand that this study has now been completed and recommends the need to upgrade the intersections of Southern Cross Drive and Florey Drive along with Southern Cross Drive and Starke Street near the Kippax Centre, to roundabouts. This work has already been planned for future inclusion in the ACT Government Capital Works Program”.

Cool… any indication of when these future capital works will be??

Nemo 9:14 pm 22 Nov 10

Re future roadworks on this stretch of road I have raised this issue with Alistair Coe who has recently forwarded on a reply letter from John Stanhope. This says in part:

“I am advised that Roads ACT has commissioned a study to address impacts of the future development of West Macgregor and the additional traffic impact in the surrounding area. I understand that this study has now been completed and recommends the need to upgrade the intersections of Southern Cross Drive and Florey Drive along with Southern Cross Drive and Starke Street near the Kippax Centre, to roundabouts. This work has already been planned for future inclusion in the ACT Government Capital Works Program”.

niftydog 9:59 am 22 Nov 10

CraigT said :

…lack of a dedicated lane for right-turning traffic coming onto Southern Cross Drive. There’s plenty of space for it.

I’m not sure there is space given the proximity of Stark St. You would have to merge the two lanes in about 20m, or reconfigure the Starke St intersection to be two westbound lanes. I have a vague recollection that this is how it used to be years ago. However this arrangement is also flawed as much of the traffic wants to exit Florey Dr and continue onto Starke St or vice versa.

Florey Dr will be traffic lights – I can see it now.

Genie 9:52 am 22 Nov 10

One of the big problems with these intersections in when you are trying to turn from Starke st, you are at the top of a hill. You cant see the traffic all that well coming from the new West Magreggor, plus its only a 60 zone and IMO most people are doing 70+.

There are so many slip lanes it can get confusing, and indicators seem to be optional extras on cars these days. So who knows where the drivers are going.

CraigT 7:54 am 22 Nov 10

The glaring thing about that intersection is the lack of a dedicated lane for right-turning traffic coming onto Southern Cross Drive. There’s plenty of space for it.
Another way of looking at it is to say that the through-traffic heading West along SCD should have a segregated lane.

Horrid 6:19 pm 21 Nov 10

People who propose roundabouts as solutions to these situations always forget one thing- that most of the improved safety for motorists comes at the expense of more dangerous conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. And yes I am aware that there is an underpass there they could use, but this only caters for one direction of movement out of several they need to use.

beh1972 3:32 pm 21 Nov 10

I used to live in an apartment which looked right onto the Florey/SX drive intersection. I used to watch it for hours having meals on the balconey and see plenty of near misses.

All through the night you’d idiots plant it on the turn and fishtail it.

vg 3:16 pm 21 Nov 10

I stand corrected

BenMac 3:06 pm 21 Nov 10

vg said :

I believe the idea of a fatal motorcycle accident at that intersection was floated on a post previously.

I’m yet to see evidence one has happened in recent times

Fatal collision in MacGregor 18/04/10

vg 2:36 pm 21 Nov 10

I believe the idea of a fatal motorcycle accident at that intersection was floated on a post previously.

I’m yet to see evidence one has happened in recent times

clueless70 2:34 pm 21 Nov 10

Basketcase,

With your comments and the use of streetview I’m able to understand the peculiarities of that spot better. It looks as if a driver trying to turn right from Starke St would have to assess the behaviour of three different streams of traffic simultaneously. The right turn into Starke from Southern Cross Drive is the wildcard – to be safe, drivers using it would have to understand/accept that they have the least right-of-way on the intersection, and they need to give way to everyone else in the area before they can think of moving off. The option to turn right from SC Drive either shouldn’t be there, or should be governed by traffic lights.

screaming banshee 2:14 pm 21 Nov 10

basketcase said :

I bet the “police reports” make no mention of bad design.

I bet the police aren’t qualified roads/traffic engineers.

It doesn’t seem a particularly confusing intersection, give way positions on the side streets could do with being further forward and it could probably do with a merge/slip lane thingy like where you exit the Barton Hwy into Nth Lyneham and turn right towards Kaleen.

If anyone that drives through there is uncomfortable with negotiating a right turn both sides have a rather easy left-turn then u-turn option which would probably work out quicker in peak periods.

clueless70 1:47 pm 21 Nov 10

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This intersection outside the town of Gerringong provides a good solution without using traffic lights, which I haven’t seen in many other places in NSW or ACT: a slip-lane for traffic turning right into the Princes Highway, signposted at 80 km/h but on which drivers routinely drive much faster for reasons that are unclear. By moving the merge point for right-turning traffic a little further downstream from the intersection itself, the arrangement has probably saved quite a few accidents. Cars turning right from Fern Street have a chance to accelerate to 80 km/h before joining northwards-flowing traffic on the Princes Highway – or, if they mistime their turn, they are spared an immediate collision with following north-bound traffic which is sent around a concrete divider.

Of course only common sense and good driver judgment will prevent right-turning drivers from being hit by oncoming south-bound traffic. In that particular place it is wise to presume oncoming traffic is speeding, as it has just descended a steep hill, and it is unwise to allow yourself to be rushed by impatient drivers behind.

I wonder if part of the dangerousness of that area on Southern Cross Drive is the nearness of the two intersections to each other. Do any drivers attempt to do two consecutive turns – right then left – through Southern Cross from Florey to Starke or vice versa? That would court disaster with the lane changes and slow merging speeds involved.

Jethro 1:45 pm 21 Nov 10

Ian said :

Actually the intersections are fine, it’s the drivers that are the problem. If only they didn’t make it so easy for bogans and dickheads to get licenses.

I definitely lay a lot of the blame at the drivers who don’t drive carefully around these intersections.

But there has to be a reason why there are constantly accidents at these two intersections when other intersections don’t have the same number of accidents. Poor design makes poor drivers even worse.

basketcase 1:28 pm 21 Nov 10

Jim Jones said :

Agree with the OP. There’s a scary amount of accidents there – the idea that you can wave that off because of ‘bogans’ is pretty ludicrous.

They need to whack a roundabout in.

Yeah, the relevant department did a study about 10 years ago. It was an awful report and quite obvious that the engineers had skewed the report to conform with a treasury view that a roundabout was too expensive.

Coming out of Starke and turning right into Southern Cross is *real bad news* during heavy traffic periods. It’s not the bogans or other dickheads. it is the design.

The slip lane that allows Southern Cross traffic turning left into Starke obscures the outside lane. By the time you psyche out what is happening and ready to move off, you will find a car suddenly turning right out of SC Drive into Starke because of the break that has been afforded to them as well.

Naturally people will get confused and frustrated. There has been a few accidents there lately, I bet the “police reports” make no mention of bad design.

Drivers coming out of Florey Dr for Kippax do have the option of turning left into SC Dr and then into Moyes. Much safer.

Roundabouts are probably the way to go, but a proper engineering assessment would not go astray. They cleared up the Mouat/Archibald/Brigalow hiatus in Lyneham, now they should do the same out here.

housebound 12:59 pm 21 Nov 10

It may be the drivers who are to blame, but it can get pretty busy at times, and lead some of the less patient drivers to pull out in front of the traffic.

The real suprise is that there aren’t more accidents.

A roundabout would help, but I suspect we’re facing a traffic light, or two, sooner or later.

homeone 12:48 pm 21 Nov 10

‘Wack a roundabout in …’

People have been waiting since the Kippax Centre shops were built some time in the late ’70s or early ’80s.

Numerous proposals over the years with zilch done.

Before the vet hospital was built one proposal was to have vehicles exit from the shops via the west end of the car park next to Wests and into a circle for Southern Cross & Florey.

Don’t hold your breath.

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