Residents’ fears of trucks using notorious City Rd intersection grows after traffic pole knocked over

Brendan Rees

Southbank’s two residents’ groups will hold talks with the Department of Transport (DoT) over the troublesome City Rd-Power St intersection after another truck collided with a traffic pole in April.

Southbank News understands a B-double truck struck a traffic light post on April 3 – the same intersection where a truck hit and injured five pedestrians one year ago, which was followed by a truck hitting and dragging a car around the corner two months later.

While the circumstances of the latest incident are unknown, photos showed the light post leaning precariously over the road – with a witness saying a truck had “turned way too deep and ended up hitting the traffic light.”

Luckily, it’s believed no-one was injured.

Late last year, the state government announced the intersection would get a $3.8 million safety overhaul after several short-term safety measures were installed.

This included the installation of bollards and concrete blocks, signs and pavement markings warning of turning trucks, and new technology to minimise waiting periods for pedestrians.

However, within 24 hours of temporary bollards being installed last June, they too were bowled over by a truck, along with a street sign. 

The overhaul works are expected to begin later this year, but with the intersection still being frequented by trucks, the community remained fearful of another serious crash occurring.

Southbank Residents’ Association president Tony Penna has long held the view that taking trucks off City Rd was the “ultimate answer” but in terms of “how do they do that? That is the question.”

Mr Penna said he would meet face-to-face with DoT on May 12 to get an update on the intersection and to check whether everything was on track for the overhaul.

“The measures that they’re putting in place are certainly an improvement on what we’ve got, but the ultimate answer to that intersection is we’ve got to take trucks off City Rd,” he said.

“But the solution that they’re proposing will go a long way to making that intersection safer for pedestrians and trucks.”

Southbank3006 residents’ group has also contacted the DoT after the traffic light incident and is also expected to hold a meeting this month.

The group’s deputy president Jannine Pattison raised her concerns over the safety of drivers waiting to turn right onto City Rd “as they are left quite vulnerable and exposed” because “there is no physical barrier between turning trucks and waiting cars.”

A DoT spokesperson said, “Early preparation work is underway to deliver our $3.8 million upgrade for the intersection of City Rd and Power St in Southbank, which will create more space between pedestrians and road users while providing more room for heavy vehicles.”

“We will continue to monitor traffic and safety at this intersection before works commence later this year,” the spokesperson said.

Designs finalised by the state government show how a traffic island would be removed and the crossing at Power St moved away from the corner to make it safer for pedestrians waiting to cross.

Under the plans, all lanes on City Rd would be shifted north and the stop line for west-bound traffic pushed back, creating more room for large trucks to turn and to allow for the widening of the footpath.

An automated pedestrian crossing and sensors to trigger changes to traffic lights will remain in place to provide additional time for pedestrians to cross.

Meanwhile, Ms Pattison is continuing her battle to make the Kavanagh St-Power St intersection safer after witnessing multiple crashes at the site.

“Nothing is forecasted to happen there. Sadly, it looks like it may take a serious accident or fatality before that section of road is looked at,” she told Southbank News.

A DoT engineer met with Ms Pattison earlier this year to assess the intersection, however, there are no plans to make any changes at the site.

Southbank3006 president David Hamilton said, “We need a comprehensive traffic management strategy for all of Southbank, not just City Rd.”  •

A traffic light pole was struck last month at the notorious City Rd-Power St intersection .

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