Community & Business

13 March, 2024

Action needed on Main Street pedestrian crossing structure

AUTHORITIES will consider whether any action should be taken at a pedestrian crossing in Main Street, Atherton after the Express Yourself community survey revealed most people believe it is causing unnecessary traffic congestion.

Action needed on Main Street pedestrian crossing structure - feature photo

The survey, which yielded 1045 responses of which around half came from the Atherton area, showed that nearly 41% think the structure that covers the pedestrian crossing near the Barron Valley Hotel is causing motorists to have to come to a complete stop to see if any pedestrians are emerging. 

The structure was built over and around the two-tiered crossing by Tablelands Regional Council many years ago but casts a dark shadow across the road and is “busy to the eye”, according to chair of the local Traffic Advisory Committee, Cr Bernie Wilce.

Cr Wilce does not agree with nearly 32% of survey respondents who support putting signals (lights) at the crossing to manage the pedestrians.

“In a nutshell, I do not believe traffic lights should be installed. In my opinion, we need to look at the amount of structure which forms part of the crossing, and endeavour to educate pedestrians on the use of crossings in general,” he said.

“This matter has been discussed at our Traffic Advisory Committee meetings, being raised by several different parties including me. 

“It is agreed that, visually, the crossing is very busy to the eye, with many comments that the nature of the crossing creates the opportunity for pedestrians to enter the roadway without being detected by the drivers of vehicles. 

“The fitment of traffic lights is not feasible at this time, as it would cause severe disruption to traffic flow, and would, in my opinion, allow for pedestrians to abuse the intent of the lights just to see the traffic stopped.

“Further, I have no doubts that we would see a fair degree of pedestrians crossing the roadway against the direction of the traffic lights if installed. 

“Should the pedestrian traffic using that crossing be mindful of the process where they could perhaps wait until they were in the company of other users, the disruption to the general traffic flow could be alleviated.”

Cr Wilce said, if re-elected at the 16 March poll, he would place the matter on the committee’s agenda again.

Cr Peter Hodge, who is not standing at the next election, said he would be in favour of signals being installed at the crossing given the increase in traffic along Atherton’s Main Street.

“A bit of the problem is driver behaviour but we also know that Atherton is the heart of the Tablelands and it’s only going to get bigger and the roads get busier, so I think signals would help to control the flow of pedestrians and reduce traffic lining up down the street,” he said.

“I would prefer the structure to stay but it would be better if the area was lighter.”

A TRC spokesperson confirmed the matter would be placed on the advisory committee’s agenda to be discussed further with the Department of Transport and Main Roads which is responsible for the crossing.

A DTMR spokesperson said it would not be in favour of installing signals at the crossing.

“It is expected that a signalised pedestrian crossing will not significantly reduce traffic congestion, and will increase pedestrian delay, resulting in pedestrians not waiting for the green pedestrian light, reducing safety at this location,” the spokesperson said.


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