Sunday, 10 July 2011

Not just Anzac Highway

I had yet another whinge the other week about the lack of places for pedestrians to cross on arterial roads in the metro area. It's not just Anzac Highway.

I took a bus along North East Road the other day and got off not far from the ABC building at Collinswood. Your chances are generally 50:50 but I drew a short straw and was dumped on the wrong side of the road. Here's a picture of the lonely bus stop. It's the small green shelter in between the graffiti and the urine stains:

This is the view towards the city. It is difficult to see but you can just make out the green lights of the crossing at Galway Avenue in the distance:

And here's the view in the other direction. You can't pick them out from all the car lights but the next traffic lights are at Hampstead Road. The problem is they are only for cars and there is no pedestrian crossing there. If you want a crossing with pedestrian facilities, you have to walk even further to Ascot Avenue - which is in the next suburb:

Each side of the road has three lanes of traffic with a speed limit of 60 km/h. You have to trust that people stick to it. In the middle you can see a median strip that's about the width of a narrow door. Generally you'll make it across half the road before you have to stand there and wait for the other side to clear. While you're there, drivers will happily speed past you without slowing down or giving you a bit of extra space.

They can't be blamed of course. If you see the world from behind a car windscreen, that will necessarily inform your view of the world. You certainly will have no idea what it feels like to cross North East Road as a pedestrian and get stuck in the middle there. If you see someone doing it, you assume - not unreasonably - that they are a weirdo.

And I was wearing my best suit too.

Anyway, whinge over. It's just another illustration of very little thought being given to pedestrians. Remember also, there is a primary school on that stretch of road. If you ever hear a motorist complaining that they are poorly treated, shake your head silently and walk away.


  1. In the last few days I've had cause to do quite a bit of walking around Adelaide city and I'm amazed that pedestrians are given no priority at intersection crossings even outside peak hour. The buttons at the lights are surely for psychological purposes only as they don't seem to change the timing of the lights.You just feel like you've done something to aid your progress because you've pressed the button.

    At 7pm on a cold night it took an unnecessarily long period of time to walk a few blocks. So much so that I ended up avoiding the lights altogether. However, it isn't so easy to legally avoid the lights when you are riding a bike across the city. Changes are needed to prioritise pedestrians and cyclists.

  2. I could not agree with you more. I am also convinced that pressing the button makes no difference to the timing of the light sequence. It just gives you a green light at your point in the sequence (which is rare). I object to having to press the button as if I have to apply to cross the road.

  3. yes... i like to share about myself that I don't have a vintage bike.. I'm really hoping to get one next month! I'm going to add a basket and flowers around the handlebars too.Your bike looks adorable! Bikes Perth