In August 2019, I wrote to Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner calling for several improvements to public transport and pedestrian safety in Fig Tree Pocket, including:
- More frequent buses on the 445 and 430 routes
- Pedestrian safety upgrades including traffic lights at Fig Tree Pocket Rd and Kenmore Rd intersection, and at 40km/hr speed limit on those roads.
- A footpath along Jesmond Rd north of Cubberla St, including fixing a dangerous narrow section
One of the worst spots for pedestrian safety is the intersection of Fig Tree Pocket Road and Kenmore Road.
There have been three reported crashes in five years, but locals know that minor accidents and near misses happen many times every year. One local resident keeps an “accident kit” at home, fearing that it’s only a matter of time until someone is injured.
Some of the issues are:
- No safe crossing points, especially for kids, people with prams or people using a wheelchair.
- School students using the nearby bus stop on Fig Tree Pocket Road are unable to cross safely.
- High speeds, including drivers rat-running to avoid the Centenary Motorway
Students from Fig Tree Pocket SS, Brisbane Montessori School, Kenmore SHS and local non-government schools are all put at risk by this dangerous intersection.
I have been pushing for some simple, positive solutions:
- Traffic lights at the intersection of Fig Tree Pocket Rd and Kenmore Rd,
- A pedestrian refuge or a raised “wombat crossing” near bus stop 37, on Fig Tree Pocket Rd, and
- A speed limit of 40km/hr on Fig Tree Pocket Rd and Kenmore Rd in Fig Tree Pocket for discourage rat-running.
We know that Brisbane City Council has already spent $221,000 on a feasibility investigation into traffic lights at this intersection, but so far they have not allocated money in the Council Budget.
Long term, the best way to fix traffic congestion and improve pedestrian safety is to make our streets safe and people-friendly so that more residents have the option to walk, cycle or catch the bus. Traffic lights do cost money, but lower speed limits are almost free for Council to implement. Rather than spend money on wasteful road-widening projects, Council should be supporting smaller upgrades like this which actually make residents’ lives easier.