Stephanie Sewell wants something done to protect pedestrian safety.
Stephanie Sewell wants something done to protect pedestrian safety. Claudia Baxter

Crossing street is a hazard

AN Ipswich cafe owner is pleading with Main Roads to make changes to a CBD intersection which she says is too dangerous for pedestrians.

Perched high on the corner of Thorn Street and Brisbane Street, Bambino Bean Espresso Bar owner Stephanie Sewell often ends up serving those who have made the hazardous journey across the main street out of town.

She said they often have to contend with unsighted, impatient or ignorant motorists who, while turning into Brisbane Street from Thorn Street, fail to give way to pedestrians who have the green “walk” signal.

“At least once a week someone will come into the shop saying that they've nearly been hit,” Ms Sewell said.

“A woman from this complex was thrown up onto the bonnet of a car, and just last week a lady put her hand on the bonnet of a car which came close to hitting her.

“I heard the scream and she was visibly shaken afterwards.”

Despite being busy throughout the day, with large numbers of vehicles turning right onto Brisbane Street to head outbound, there is no right arrow at the lights and only a short window of opportunity in which to get through the intersection.

When pedestrians are added to the equation, that window becomes even shorter.

While Ms Sewell suggested a red/green arrow as a suitable solution to the danger, local area councillor Andrew Antoniolli said he had approached Main Roads with what he believed would be a better idea.

“The suggestion council made was not for an arrow, because I think that would create too much of a build-up of traffic at the lights,” Cr Antoniolli said.

“What we have suggested is a time lag of about four to five seconds, which would allow pedestrians enough time to begin crossing the road and give motorists waiting at the lights the opportunity to see them early.”

Cr Antoniolli said it was about time Main Roads took action as there had been several reported incidents where pedestrians had been hit and injured, and several other reported near-misses.

“The main problem at that intersection seems to have been that, for whatever reason, the motorists are unsighted,” he said.

The last correspondence between Ipswich City Council and Main Roads occurred via email in late August 2010.

A Transport and Main Roads spokesman said officers had assessed the site late last year and given a commitment to modify the traffic signals in the near future.

Flood work had been prioritised ahead of the changes to the lights.



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