PortBUG: Proposal for New Pedestrian Crossings – Semaphore Road.

At its meeting on the 13th October Council resolved that they will not proceed with the proposal to install two new zebra crossings on Semaphore Road (nor will they remove the parking wheelstops – these will instead be replaced with brighter coloured, harder wearing plastic items).

The original proposal was to replace 3 of the current 4 existing crossing points with two much larger zebra crossings. Extensive community consultations resulted in 186 responses – see below

Question Yes No Yes with changes Undecided
Do you support the installation of the 2 zebra crossings noting the loss of 6 on-street parking 37 (20%) 116 (62%) 32 (18%) 1 (0.5%)

The majority of the feedback was concerned with the loss of on-street parking and a disruption in traffic flow (six of the 82 spaces available would be lost as part of the proposal). A number of respondents felt that one crossing would be adequate. Others suggested that humps are required in this section of road to keep traffic speeds down and also requested a lower speed limit.

At the October meeting staff proposed one centrally placed raised platform ‘wombat’ crossing as an alternative. Two of the four existing informal crossings could be removed and with a change in the angle of the parking on the northern side. this would provide a gain of seven car parking spaces! A single ‘wombat’ crossing will also address some of the speeding concerns raised during the consultation process and make it easier for the less able to cross the road. Current disabled parking spaces could be located adjacent to the crossing to make their use more convenient. This proposal is shown below.

The ‘wombat’ crossing option addresses the majority of issues raised in the consultation process (loss of parking and the vehicle speeds) and still allows a crossing point for the less able and others to cross Semaphore Road. Two of the informal crossing locations would be retained (where pedestrians would not have right of way).

It was pointed out that the project easily meets the ‘warrant requirements’ for the installation of a formalised pedestrian crossing. DIT guidelines and Australian Standards these indicate a warrant applies if a minimum of 160 pedestrians cross a particular point in any 8 hour period with a total of 1,600 or more vehicles in those same 8 hours. Semaphore Road (between Military Road and The Esplanade) has a minimum of 600-700 pedestrians in any one location and an average of 8500 vehicles/day!

Staff noted that this proposed ‘wombat’ crossing will improve pedestrian access across Semaphore Road (particularly for the less able and elderly who will have ‘right of way’ over motorists) and is likely to attract more pedestrians to the area. The aim is to create a low speed environment that is conducive to walking and making it safer where there is already considerable demand for a priority crossing.

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