A new timed pedestrian crossing has come into operation on Grand Drive in Centennial Park today. The crossing is adjacent the Children’s Learners Cycleway.
This crossing aims to assist in reducing the unacceptable number of incidents in the area, and reduce risks in this high visitation zone.
Grand Drive, the one-way loop road (with dedicated cycle lane) around Centennial Park, is one of the busiest park thoroughfares in Australia. The particular nature of this area – being adjacent the popular children’s cycleway, with a playground, shared BBQs and toilets – is a very popular picnic location and attracts a high proportion of families with young children.
Earlier this year we reported that we had 61 registered accidents and incidents on Grand Drive, 20 of which required ambulance transfer to hospital. This has been of growing concern to visitors and park management alike.
Following a period of consultation with park visitors and stakeholder user groups, the implementation of the pedestrian crossing is an outcome of the Grand Drive Safety Improvement Project and is a win for visitor safety.
What is a timed pedestrian crossing?
The timed pedestrian crossing in Centennial Park will act similar to a ‘children’s pedestrian crossing’ (as defined by the Roads and Maritime Services):
Children’s crossings are usually part-time crossings which operate before and after school hours, and at other times that may be agreed by the local council. Outside these times the area isn’t a pedestrian crossing. When in use, red flags displaying he words CHILDREN CROSSING are used. Drivers must slow down and stop before the stop line when a pedestrian is on the crossing or waiting to cross – and remain stopped until all pedestrians are off the crossing.
When will the pedestrian crossing operate?
The new timed pedestrian crossing adjacent the Children’s Learners Cycleway became operational today (8 October 2012) and will operate:
- 9.00am to 4.30pm, seven days a week
To indicate operating times, our new crossing will include ‘Children Crossing’ flags from today. A solar-powered flashing lights system will also be installed in coming weeks to help complement this, and make the crossing more visible to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Fencing and gates will also be installed to close off the crossing outside of operational times.
Operating rules for motorists and cyclists
When in operation, motorists and cyclists must:
- stop at the solid yellow line on the roadway if any pedestrian is entering or on the crossing
- not overtake on the crossing
- slow down and look both ways on approach
At all times, when the crossing is in operation, pedestrians on the crossing have right of way.
Operating rules for pedestrians
Pedestrians must (particularly when in company of children):
- use the pedestrian crossing to cross Grand Drive from / to the Learners Cycleway zone
- look right, look left and look right again before stepping out onto the pedestrian crossing
- hold the hand of any children until you are fully across the roadway
- keep any dog on-leash and under control until fully across the roadway
For safety, and to improve visibility for traffic, no pedestrian / child should run at any time across the pedestrian crossing.
We all need to ensure safety
As this new pedestrian crossing becomes operational, all motorists, cyclists, rollerbladers and pedestrians should take care using the crossing. Until levels of awareness of, and understanding about the crossing are high, you should take extra care using the crossing and ensuring traffic has stopped before stepping in its path.
We appreciate the support
We understand the many issues of park visitor safety, access of use and the need to manage and facilitate the convergence of many disparate activities in the Park, and that this has led to a lot of interest and concern over the last six months in particular.
The consultation and communication process we have been through has been aided greatly by all parties understanding that ‘safety is not-negotiable’.
We would like to recognise and thank the involvement and support of a number of groups in particular: Cycle Centennial, Bicycle NSW, Cycling NSW, the Centennial Parklands Community Consultative Committee, and the numerous cycling clubs that have engaged constructively with us over the last few months. This input has, of course, included much feedback from concerned individuals in the community.
We thank you all for your patience and your willingness to work towards a workable solution.