ACT government fails to improve traffic safety at dangerous intersection

Elizabeth Kikkert MLA 3 February 2018 77

At the intersection.

I have battled with the ACT government to act on a question West Belconnen residents have asked for years: when will the safety of the intersection of Tillyard and Ginninderra Drives be improved with traffic lights?

This dangerous intersection is putting lives at risk. Between 2011 and 2016 more than 46 car crashes occurred, 17 causing personal injury – recently, a car crash at this intersection saw three people hospitalised, including a young person who may have sustained spinal injuries. Just two days ago, a car was T-boned at the same intersection.

This is unacceptable.

My involvement with this issue predates my service in the ACT Legislative Assembly. Having lived in Charnwood for many years, I personally witnessed the aftermath of crashes and numerous near misses. Talking with residents, I soon realised that concerns with the safety of the intersection ran deep in the community.

In May 2015, I contacted Mary Porter MLA to request that traffic safety measures be implemented. Over the next three weeks, at least three more accidents occurred. Each time, I informed Ms Porter’s office.

The response to all my emails was the same: my concerns had been forwarded to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury.

I never received a response from Mr Rattenbury even though the crashes continued. There were 16 in 2015, six resulting in personal injury.

Frustrated at the government’s inaction when lives were in danger, in 2016 I launched a petition asking that traffic lights be installed. My petition attracted 1,329 signatures.

One of my first official acts as a newly elected MLA was tabling the petition last year. In response, the new Transport Minister, Meegan Fitzharris, announced a feasibility study and preliminary sketch plan for the intersection.

Before this, the ACT government launched a traffic study for Tillyard Drive towards the end of 2016, however the intersection with Ginninderra Drive was notably excluded. Residents were promised an opportunity to provide feedback on proposed options in early 2017, with the final scheme to be released in mid-2017.

Earlier this year, the ACT government delivered its final scheme to households in Charnwood, Flynn and Fraser – six months late and having skipped straight over the provision for resident feedback.

The final scheme has angered the community and for good reason.

Although the study originally excluded the intersection of Tillyard and Ginninderra Drives, in answer to my questions during annual reports hearings, Roads ACT director noted “an unusually strong consensus” between the community consultation and the technical assessment: a key concern with Tillyard Drive is its intersection with Ginninderra Drive.

Subsequently, Ms Fitzharris confirmed the feasibility study had been merged with the traffic study, saying, “it has all become one and the same” and that residents did not want, “a pedestrian island here or, say, some line markings along the road.”

But that is precisely what the Labor-Greens government delivered in its final scheme: line markings, speed humps, new signage and even a pedestrian island.

What about the troublesome intersection that both community input and the engineering firm’s technical analysis identified as a priority concern? They have been marked as something “to be considered under future Capital Works programs”.

A vague promise of future consideration means nothing to us Canberrans who regularly navigate the hazards of this intersection.

What we need is a firm promise to finally make this intersection safe, with a guarantee for when the work will be completed.

If the ACT government is serious about West Belconnen residents, it will issue an assurance now that proper traffic control measures will be funded in 2018–19.

My battle continues to make that happen.

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77 Responses to ACT government fails to improve traffic safety at dangerous intersection
Seriously q mark Seriously q mark 9:01 pm 06 Apr 18

Let’s have a petition for creative and sensible thinking to solve a problem, a petition for no lights, and a petition for more sensible driving.

Lights will unnecessarily hinder traffic. They’re bad for the environment. Come up with a better idea, or at least some options which people can be consulted on, and some relic of a democratic process followed to find a solution.

Frank Arena Frank Arena 4:42 pm 15 Feb 18

Or maybe people need to learn how to drive…if you follow the road rules and be patient surely you can navigate an intersection without having an accident…

Elizabeth Kikkert MLA Elizabeth Kikkert MLA 11:01 am 15 Feb 18

Hi everyone, there was another accident on Tuesday :-(

Karen Cowan Karen Cowan 6:05 pm 03 Feb 18

I dont know why they haven't got traffic lights at this intersection yet

Mark Wallin Mark Wallin 4:05 pm 03 Feb 18

Yup, that intersection is exciting (bad). While were at it, can we extend the dual carriage way to the roundabout and so something about the clowns who can't use the underpass and cross a busy Ginninderra Drive?

Pee Emm Pee Emm 2:23 pm 03 Feb 18

This intersection and the one about 100 metres up the road near red rooster are carnage. The intersections aren't great but I still don't understand how people get into trouble here. Wait until it is your right of way, then go. Not before.

Samantha Dore Samantha Dore 10:06 am 03 Feb 18

I use this intersection almost daily.(over the last 17 years) I give way and slow down where required and have never had an accident. I've actively avoided accidents with other motorists who are breaking the law on many occasions. Unfortunately, because people are selfish and stupid when they get behind the wheel, this intersection needs to be dumbed down to protect everyone.

    Ariane Brewer Ariane Brewer 11:26 am 03 Feb 18

    Could not agree more Sam. It's sad that everything has to be dumbed down.

    Ian Pye Ian Pye 12:15 pm 03 Feb 18

    Unfortunately it is easier for governments to dumb things down rather than lift licensing and driving standards. Why not make licenses harder to get and keep? Set a standard that takes, maybe, the bottom 25% of drivers out of the driving population.

Peter McArdle Peter McArdle 9:26 pm 02 Feb 18

& while we are discussing traffic in West Belconnen, what about Kingsford Smith Dr?

In the time that we have lived in Flynn, 13 people have been killed on the 1.6km stretch between Ginninderra Dr and Alpen St. Is this the deadliest mile in Canberra?

& let’s not even discuss the many injured during that time.

Friends who are motorcyclists refer to this section of the road as “The Slalom” because the many curves are cambered incorrectly. Speed on these curves has been the major cause of the accidents/deaths. The 70kph speed limit is a joke. The road needs traffic calming on that stretch of road.

Again, if so many people were killed in Red Hill or Dickson, would the politicians ignore it?

Cheers from West Belconnen.

    Amy LD Amy LD 11:00 am 05 Feb 18

    Is that the one coming up from cranleigh onto southern cross? Because that one is absolutely atrocious.

Sair Rah Sair Rah 8:47 pm 02 Feb 18

The fact that even the bus drivers swear under their breath and passengers close their eyes and hope for the best means it’s not ideal. Several times I’ve been on the 313 city bound and I’ve seen the drivers elect to use the roundabout by the called to go back up Lhotsky then left onto Florey to avoid the Tillyard/Ginninderra intersection. One driver told me they’d get rapped over the knuckles for it but it was worth avoiding the wait at the intersection and dealing with the stupidity of drivers.

Michael Peris Michael Peris 8:31 pm 02 Feb 18

Take it from a survivor from a serious motorbike crash from that intersection. Nearly 10 years on and after 3 years physiotherapy later I still feel the pain this intersection and its careless driver left on me. Never felt more helpless when I thought I was going to die before the crash suddenly happened.

Julie Mylchreest Julie Mylchreest 8:06 pm 02 Feb 18

You're just going to have to wait until the train set is finished. Priorities, priorities. ....its not about the people. ....

    Kristen Krikowa Kristen Krikowa 10:44 pm 02 Feb 18

    Then they can put in a round about and traffic light's 😂😂 That'll fix it!!

Anna Leonie Anna Leonie 7:02 pm 02 Feb 18

Yes! I had an accident there! My brand new car was like a week old!

Michael Robinson Michael Robinson 6:55 pm 02 Feb 18

Build new suburbs fix the roads years later.... that’s how we do it here

Emmet Cole Emmet Cole 6:29 pm 02 Feb 18

Proper traffic control measures already exist in the form of eyes and a brake pedal. Use them wisely.

Rob Long Rob Long 6:05 pm 02 Feb 18

Should have always been a fly over

Luca Biason Luca Biason 3:46 pm 02 Feb 18

also: about 100mt before that intersection (but on the other lane travelling towards Charnwood) the road goes over the Gininderra Creek and the walking path along it. There are no barriers at all as they approach the crossing: should one or more cars happen to have an accident and roll down the bank, they'd be mowing any pedestrians or cyclists with the msifortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not a difficult fix either.

Gary Jackson Gary Jackson 2:36 pm 02 Feb 18

This incompetent ACT Gov is cash poor after their 700 million dollar tram project blows out every month - currently 2 billion and rising!! - only servicing 15 percent of the population. There are roads and intersections maintained using stop gap measures to preserve funds for the tram cost blow out. Some ACT tax’s are 6 times the nations average now just to get Barr out of Tram Trouble. It seems this intersection will also be delayed.

Mia Cliff Mia Cliff 2:10 pm 02 Feb 18

Blame the government for people's bad driving. ?

Joe Coppin Joe Coppin 1:43 pm 02 Feb 18

No bugger off the ACT governments only solution to everything is traffic lights.

The call should be for the government to fund a roundabout or flyover not an unspecified traffic control measures cause all you'll get is traffic lights and a reduced speed limit.

Tom Porter Tom Porter 12:48 pm 02 Feb 18

Get a bus.

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