What's the issue and what are the solutions?
The Boundary Rd roundabout in Bardon is unsafe for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
This section of road is controlled by the State government as part of "MetRoad 5". In my electorate of Maiwar, MetRoad 5 is called Macgregor Tce, Boundary Rd, Rouen Rd and Frederick St in Bardon and Auchenflower.
MetRoad 5 is a major thoroughfare, but it's also a local street for many Maiwar residents. In the long term, we should make all our streets more people friendly. Better walking, cycling and public transport infrastructure will help make our suburbs more liveable and help transition away from reliance of burning fossil fuels.
The existing zebra crossing to the north of the roundabout is particularly dangerous. I have heard many stories about kids being hit by cars, and at least one accident has occurred in late 2019 since I started pushing for changes. The combined pressure of a new childcare centre on Runic St approved by the LNP Council and the existing traffic flows makes this a very dangerous place.
Based on what I have heard from local residents, I believe the State government should:
- Reduce the speed limit on all or part of MetRoad 5 to 40km/hr
- Install pedestrian and cycling safety upgrades to all along the road, especially at the Boundary Rd roundabout
- Drastically improve bus services in Bardon and Auchenflower and across Brisbane so that locals and outside commuters have a real alternative to driving.
In the longer term, I believe that the only way to sustainably reduce traffic on Metroad 5 is a combination of making public transport, walking and cycling easier, plus shifting freight off road and onto rail. The Greens would also like to see a corridor study so we can have an informed conversation about where the traffic comes from. The public transport changes will need to be broader than local bus improvements, fixing the Bardon, Auchenflower and Toowong buses is also vital.
Action I have taken
Since being elected, I have been advocating strongly for safety upgrades at the Boundary Rd roundabout.
- In October 2018 I wrote to both Transport Minister Mark Bailey (Labor) and Paddington Councillor Peter Matic (LNP) calling for pedestrian safety improvements and for some action on the issue of noise from compression braking. You can read my letter of 31 October 2018 to Minister Bailey is here and my letter of 31 October 2018 to Cr Matic is here.
- On 8 December 2018 I held a community meeting of local Bardon residents in response to two proposed childcare developments, including one directly facing the roundabout. Some photos are here and here.
- Also in early December 2018 Minister Bailey responded to my letter with a commitment to install coloured pavement at the existing pedestrian crossing north of the roundabout to increase visual awareness of pedestrians, promising that this would happen by June 2019. That commitment was very welcome, but I'm also calling for flashing lights to be installed to improve visibility. You can read his letter here. I did not receive any response from Cr Matic.
- In early 2019, I met with officials from the Department of Transport and Main Roads and asked for lower speed limits and improvements to the roundabout. The officials refused to consider the option of flashing lights, and advised that the government did not support lower speed limits.
- By June 2019, the promised improvements had not occurred. Shockingly, in September 2019 there was a serious accident at the pedestrian crossing at which police, fire and ambulance services all attended. The accident was caused by a driver slowing for a pedestrian and then being hit from behind by a second driver who failed to see the pedestrian crossing at all.
- This accident prompted me to write to the Minister again on 1 October 2019, calling for flashing lights and clearer markings at the crossing, as previously promised by the Minister. This crossing must be fixed before someone is badly injured or killed. You can read my letter here.
- In November 2019, I met with Departmental officials to discuss this roundabout and other issues on MetRoad 5. The Department committed to addressing the pedestrian safety issues at the pedestrian crossing above, and agreed to consider starting a speed limit review. My letter to the Minister dated 10 December 2019 after that meeting is here.
- By late January 2020 I had received no response and no action from the Minister, and school had recommenced. Construction had also commenced at the Runic Rd childcare centre. On 30 January 2020, I sent the Minister another letter to ask for urgent safety upgrades.
- On 15 April 2020 the Minister responded agreeing to conduct a speed limit review covering much of MetRoad 5, scheduled to take up to 6 months. The Minister also committed to some very welcome safety upgrades including better warning signs at the roundabout, among other commitments.
- On 29 April 2020 I sent this update to local residents in Bardon letting them know about our progress. I also wrote to Cr Peter Matic and to the local police seeking their support for lower speed limits.
- On 18 December 2020 I made a submission to the Brisbane City Council's North West Brisbane Transport Network study which focussed on MetRoad 5 and the Bardon roundabout in particular, calling for lower speeds, safety upgrades and fewer trucks.
Progress so far..
As mentioned above, I have been able to secure two small but significant steps forward to make the Bardon roundabout safer for locals:
- Some small safety upgrades installed in early 2020 at the dangerous pedestrian crossing on Boundary Rd north of the roundabout (between Norman Buchan Park and French Tarts). These include:
- hi-visibility target boards installed on the pedestrian crossing signs,
- advance pedestrian crossing warning signs,
- reflective hand rails or yellow bars installed in the “pedestrian staging area”,
- new asphalt with zebra crossing line marked with long-life thermoplastic white lines,
- installation of advance pavement messages advising of the crossing,
- vegetation clearing maintenance undertaken on the roundabout.
- You can see a (rather low-tech) illustration of these upgrades from the Department of Transport here.
- A speed limit review for much of MetRoad 5 in Bardon, including the roundabout, which is currently underway. I am pushing for a cut from 60km/hr to 40, but the Department of Transport may be more likely to go for a 50km/hr limit.
- I’ve heard from TMR that this could take until the end of 2020 for any recommendations for speed reductions to be approved.
- Unfortunately despite my best efforts this process remains pretty opaque, and TMR is not actively seeking community input.
- To make a submission to this process, you can email the Minister for Transport on [email protected].
Elsewhere on MetRoad 5, residents have raised the dangerous "unmarked" pedestrian crossing at Macgregor Terrace near Latrobe Terrace, and I have created a pro-forma letter to the Minister so locals can have their voices heard. That campaign was successful. On 15 April 2020 the Minister committed to install a pedestrian refuge at this location.