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Residents call for safety upgrade to Kavanagh St pedestrian crossing

121 Southbank Blvd Crossing Kavanagh St
121 Southbank Blvd Crossing Kavanagh St
121 Southbank Blvd Crossing Kavanagh St
Brendan Rees

A pedestrian crossing at a dangerous intersection in Southbank – which will soon have a playground open nearby – needs to be made safer, worried residents say.

Concerns have been raised that a zebra crossing on Kavanagh St had become a “blind spot” for drivers turning left from Southbank Blvd due to a new neighbourhood park with trees at the corner having attributed to the problem.

Residents’ group Southbank3006 has flagged the intersection as “dangerous in its design” and needed an immediate safety fix.

“I think an easy and immediate improvement would be flashing yellow lights like the crossing outside the [Coroners Court] on Kavanagh St. It’s even more dangerous in the low light twilight hours,” vice-president of Southbank3006 Jannine Pattison said.

“It concerns me greatly that no additional safety provisions are in place considering the foot traffic and children who will supposedly use the park.”

The park Ms Pattison referred to is a new play space between Kavanagh St and Fawkner St, which is expected to open in September as part of the City of Melbourne’s Southbank Boulevard linear park project. It is in addition to a pop-up park at the corner that also faces the pedestrian crossing.

The call for a safety solution comes as Southbank3006’s secretary Trisha Avery said her car was struck from behind by a 4WD after she stopped at the pedestrian crossing.

Neither driver nor any pedestrian were injured, but it has raised safety concerns from Ms Avery after the 4WD driver told her, “I didn’t know there was a pedestrian crossing there.”

“I pulled up and he went straight into the back of me. If he had not had me in front of him, he could have killed someone,” she said of the incident which happened on August 4 at 3.40pm.

 

“It’s not just that I was rear-ended, it’s the fact that the guy didn’t know there was a pedestrian crossing.”

 

The council said it was not aware of any complaints regarding the zebra crossing, which was installed in 2019 as part of the Southbank Boulevard project.

“Nevertheless, we’ll investigate possible signage options to alert drivers of the crossing,” it said.

However, Ms Avery said the intersection was busy and used as a thoroughfare for motorists accessing Power St and the Westgate Fwy, thus making it hazardous enough to warrant flashing lights, or at the very least, signs installed to warn motorists of the pedestrian crossing.

She also expressed concerned that the soon-to-open playground would not be safe enough with people walking from Kavanagh St.

“It is a blind corner; people are coming off Southbank Blvd and it’s a very big pedestrian crossing,” Ms Avery said.

“I’m concerned now about mainly tradies or people cutting through with large trucks and not seeing the pedestrian crossing.”

Ms Avery added the intersection was also dangerous for cyclists “because people come around that corner and don’t see there’s a cycle lane”.

“It’s a very, very dodgy corner.” •

 

Caption: Trisha Avery of the Southbank3006 residents’ group is concerned about the safety of pedestrians using a crossing on Kavanagh St.

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