Pedestrians ignore new $300,000 crossing at The Gap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ERWIN CHLANDA reports

 

PHOTOS (from top):

 

• The Federal Government, under its Black Spot road safety program, spent $300,000 on the construction of a pedestrian crossing just south of The Gap, opposite the turn-off to the causeway leading to the Palm Circuit.
The NT Government then reduced the permitted speed in the vicinity of the crossing from 80 km/h to 70 km/h.
The crossing, with a safety area half-way, is mostly for the benefit of Aboriginal people in the Little Sisters town camp, on the western side of the highway and the railway line.
The crossing gives access to the footpath on the eastern side of the highway, leading to the main part of the town, as well as to a store and two bottle shops on the other side of the Todd River.

The crossing will probably be an obstacle to the traffic flow, or for changes to the road that may be required, when the Kilgariff suburb generates more vehicle movements.
• The crossing also leads across the railway line and is complete with yellow knobbles inhibiting the use of skateboards.
• The facility was clearly built because there have been many pedestrians injured or killed in that “spot”.
• Its obvious advantages notwithstanding, some pedestrians by-pass the crossing and traverse the highway, and the railway line, about 50 metres to the south.
• A fence panel has been removed, and the well-trodden track suggests this route is being used a lot, in preference to the much safer one, just a stone’s throw away.

• A man walks across the highway just meters from where a roadside cairn marks the scene of a fatal accident.

UPDATE May 8, 4:40pm

The fence panel was replaced today.

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14 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Bob Durnan
    Posted May 15, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    The whole fence was still intact today when I went past a couple of times.

    [ED – Hi Bob, many thanks for your comment. Yes, I agree, I had a look, too.
    When we did the story a panel was missing, and people were using the hole in the fence.
    When the fence was repaired the crossing was used. We’ll keep an eye on it.
    Will there be another hole?
    Or are people going to walk to either end of the fence and cross there? Watch this space.
    By the way, by this evening the damage reported by Alex Nelson had been repaired.]

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  2. Posted May 15, 2013 at 10:28 am

    When driving into town this morning, I noticed one of the barriers in the middle of the road crumpled after a vehicle has clearly collided with it. It’s obvious the long-suffering taxpayer has just paid $300,000 to swap one black spot danger for another. Was any thought given to the possibility, indeed likelihood, of the risk this “safety measure” poses to drunk drivers travelling on the highway? It would seem not. The sad reality is that drunk drivers are a fact of life in the NT but this clearly hasn’t been taken into account in the design of this work. It’s clear the long-suffering taxpayer is going to have to fork out more money to rectify this ill-considered road “safety” development in Heavitree Gap, most probably after there has been at least another fatality – and that would be setting no precedent in this town.

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  3. Posted May 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Another white elephant where common sense should have come to the fore.
    Now as a motorist there are more obstructions as well as looking out for people walking out in front of the traffic.
    An accident waiting to happen.

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  4. Bob Durnan
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I just drove through the Gap, and there was a large group of people – around 8 or 9 – using the new walkway across the railway line …

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  5. David
    Posted May 12, 2013 at 6:21 am

    This White Elephant is now a traffic hazard and should be dismantled. How did this get approved?

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  6. Burnsy
    Posted May 9, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Engineers and Black Spot Committee too, thanks for another waste of money in our town when it could’ve been spent wisely somewhere more practical. They could use a step ladder to see over the Berimah Line in future, or get off there a***s and have a look at jobs first.

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  7. DD
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    This what happens when stupid people get to spend taxpayers money. Little Sisters mob didn’t want it – no one else wants it.
    Never mind, a large semi will demolish it soon and that will be the end of it.

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  8. Robert Dobalino
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    The yellow knobbles might assist vision impaired people, skateboarders just flip an Ollie.

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  9. The Bull
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    The whole idea is a joke. The residents of Little Sisters were never going to walk any further to go home. Especially when they are pissed which is when they are at their most vulnerable. The residents are well known for their conservation of energy.
    Anyone who has spent time in Alice could have told the clowns who signed off on the project. Where was the consultation?

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  10. Shaun
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Money could have been spent on fixing the wonderful intersection at Lovegrove and Larapinta Drives. That was an even bigger waste of money. Everyone in town could have told you the crossing would not get used. Another brilliant Federal Government idea. Just copy Adelaide and put an overpass across to Heavitree Gap, that’ll fix it.

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  11. David
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Perhaps it would have been a good idea for the planners to look on google maps and see where the well worn track has been for years, talk to the people and then put the crossing at a convenient place rather than expecting people to walk 50 meters further north to get to the crossing. The gap in the fencing has been there for the whole time the crossing has been under construction. It was evident right from the start that it was in the wrong place.

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  12. Posted May 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    At $300,000 it would have been cheaper to provide a tucker and grog van to visit the community twice daily. Residents could telephone through their orders, receive home delivery and just sit on their bums all day.
    Now we have another structural impediment to traffic flow on our major highway.

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  13. Mazzie
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    With the island in the center and the barriers, what happens when wide loads come into town? Would not be enough room to get through. I am waiting for an accident to happen there, as the walkers only have to just step out on the road. Little kids can run down this and straight onto the road … some can’t be seen for the height of the wall.
    [ED – Thank you for your comment! The barriers in the center can be removed. I’ve seen it done.]

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  14. Kevin
    Posted May 7, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    As a local, I never expected the fence line sections to last for more than a week, well they lasted a little longer but now there is a gap. How much was spent, or realistically, how much has been wasted – I mean really, who puts a pedestrian crossing at a busy T-intersection, anyway?
    The shortest point between two places is a straight line, perhaps this should have been part of the master plan.
    How long before they give up on replacing the panels?

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