Frustrated resident rallies for road safety at dangerous intersection
By Brendan Rees
A Southbank resident is stepping up her campaign for authorities to fix a dangerous intersection which she says has been the site of multiple crashes.
Jannine Pattison, a road advocate and resident of 16 years, said the Kavanagh St and Power St intersection needed an urgent safety upgrade before someone was seriously injured or killed.
“Not a week goes by where there is not an accident or a near miss, and as we come out of COVID restrictions the traffic will only increase once more,” she said in a petition she recently launched titled, “Improve road safety in Southbank”, adding the intersection warranted attention.
“It is now time to address this issue and look at ways to redevelop the Kavanagh St-Power St intersection before another tragedy occurs.”
On October 27, she said there was “yet another serious road accident” when a motorcyclist was hit head on by a car turning into Power St, and two separate crashes in the space of 24 hours, which also occurred last month.
Ms Pattison said she was currently in talks with the Department of Transport and would like to see the speed limit reduced from 60km/h to 40km/h between Kavanagh St and City Rd as well as speed cameras installed.
While the Department of Transport confirmed it had “no plans to make any changes to the intersection at this time”, Ms Pattison said it would not stop her fight as there was “another deadly accident waiting to happen”.
“The foot traffic around Kavanagh St and Power St has increased exponentially as locals flock to the new Melbourne Square Woolworths – not to mention the traffic flow from City Rd and Southbank Boulevard heading to the entrance of the freeway,” she said.
Her campaign to improve safety comes as the state government recently committed $3.8 million for a safety upgrade at the nearby City Rd – Power St intersection, where five people were injured in a horrific truck crash in May.
While Ms Pattison welcomed this news, she said “we also need to come up with a solution” to improve Kavanagh St, which was “fast becoming the heart of Southbank”.
As part of her mission, Ms Pattison said she would also like to see an increased presence of police 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 Freeway.
She hoped this would “provide protection for the residents of our neighbourhood and all those who pass through it”.
Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) president Tony Penna said SRA would continue to advocate for safety improvements at the Kavanagh St-Power St intersection, adding they were in talks with the Department of Transport and City of Melbourne.
“Road safety on that whole strip it’s certainly still on our radar,” he said.
According to data from the Department of Transport, eight crashes have been recorded at the site in the five years to December 30, 2020, two of which resulted in serious injuries.
None of those crashes involved pedestrians and cyclists.
Last month, a Department of Transport spokesperson said keeping all road users safe “is our number one priority”.
“We continuously explore ways to make our roads safer, working alongside road safety partners like councils and Victoria Police,” the spokespersons said, adding it would monitor traffic and safety at the intersection in question.
To report a near-miss accident or if you have any concerns about the safety of the intersection, please contact Ms Pattison via email [email protected] •
Sign the petition here