Calls renewed for safety rethink at Kavanagh St-Power St intersection after further crashes reported
A Southbank road safety advocate has renewed calls for a busy intersection to be made safer after a collision in recent weeks saw a man taken to hospital.
The intersection of Kavanagh and Power streets has been of long concern for Jannine Pattison, the vice-president of residents’ group Southbank3006, after having witnessed multiple crashes at the site – with another two reported in recent weeks.
This included a multi-car collision on July 30, about 7pm, which resulted in a man in his 40s being taken to the Alfred Hospital in a stable condition after he suffered a lower body injury, Victoria Police and Ambulance Victoria confirmed.
In a separate incident, police were called to crash at the intersection on August 13 about 6.30pm, but no injuries were reported.
Ms Pattison said the latest incidents highlighted the need for safety improvements to be made at the intersection before someone was seriously injured or killed.
However, the Department of Transport (DoT) said while it would continue to monitor safety at the intersection, there were currently no plans to make any changes at the site – a position it has stood by since late last year when Ms Pattison first raised concerns.
The DoT said the current functionality of the Kavanagh St-Power St intersection “exists to reduce congestion and maintain traffic flow, especially for emergency or Citylink incident response vehicles” while also taking into consideration the nearby freeway exit.
“The safety of all road users is our number one priority – we will continue to monitor safety at the Kavanagh St and Power St intersection to determine if any safety improvements are needed,” a DoT spokesperson said.
“Community consultation and feedback from Southbank residents is important as it helps us understand their experiences on the local road network.”
A DoT engineer met with Ms Pattison at the site earlier this year, which involved discussions about driver behaviour, signal phasing, queuing, and speed limits.
Ms Pattison, who began an online petition in November last year calling for greater safety at the intersection – which had so far generated 270 signatures – hoped for a resolution, particularly with the state election looming.
“Our greatest concern is it will take a fatality at this intersection to force any kind of change and that would be very tragic,” she said.
“I strongly believe it is time to consider low traffic neighbourhoods where local traffic only is permitted along Kavanagh St and left and right turns in and out of Power St onto Kavanagh St are abolished if the flow of traffic along Power St cannot be slowed due to the potential for traffic to slow on the freeway exit ramp.”
As previously reported by Southbank News, Ms Pattison would like to see increased police patrols during peak hours when most collisions occurred, and for the speed limit to be slashed from 80km/h to 60km/h as vehicles exited the off ramp from the West Gate Fwy.
At the very least, she hoped the speed limit could be reduced to 40km/h between Kavanagh St and City Rd with speed cameras also installed.
In a letter from the DoT to Ms Pattison in March, the department said it would discuss her concerns with the local Highway Patrol Unit of Victoria Police and “requested that appropriate enforcement be undertaken, including consideration of road safety cameras”. •
Caption: Jannine Pattison, vice-president of residents’ group Southbank3006, is worried about safety at the intersection of Kavanagh and Power streets.