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Lord Mayor rolls out additional pedestrian countdown timers

22 March, 2013

Lord Mayor rolls out additional pedestrian countdown timers

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk will today unveil three new pedestrian countdown timer sites in Toowong, with a further nine sites earmarked in Fortitude Valley and the CBD.

The Lord Mayor said the roll-out of the additional sites followed the successful trial in Brisbane city late last year, where the timers were installed at five different locations and then monitored over a six week period.

“As a new world city I consider it essential that we have a city that is pedestrian friendly and these countdown timers are another big step towards achieving that,” Cr Quirk said.

“This rollout to the suburbs is also an essential part of my action plan to deliver safer streets in Brisbane.”

Toowong Ward Councillor Peter Matic lobbied hard for Toowong to be the first suburb to receive the pedestrian countdown timers.

“These pedestrian countdown timers will improve safety around the busy Toowong shopping centre and near the Regatta CityCat terminal and I thank the Lord Mayor for this commitment,” Cr Matic said.

In September last year, the Lord Mayor switched on the timers at five busy CBD intersections and Council has monitored the locations closely along with surveying pedestrians about their crossing behaviours, in a trial that was the first of its kind for Brisbane.

During this period more than 1100 people were surveyed with 76 per cent identifying the timers made it safer to cross and 84 per cent finding the technology useful.

The survey also revealed 79 per cent of respondents believed the timers should be rolled out to further locations across Brisbane.

Cr Quirk said between March and May Council would install the new systems at another eight CBD sites, three sites in Toowong and one in Fortitude Valley, delivering on a $1 million commitment to investigate and install additional devices by 2016.

“Now we have some evidence supporting that this technology is useful for residents and visitors, we expect to see a further 300 timers installed around South Bank, the CBD, the Valley and some suburbs,” he said.

“We are aiming to upgrade 140 signalised intersections during this time, and we are currently investigating all the possible locations to roll these out in subsequent financial years.”

Pedestrian countdown timers count down the seconds pedestrians have to finish crossing, once the red ‘Don’t Walk’ signal starts flashing, making it clear to pedestrians how much time they have left to finish crossing the road safely.

Locations for new pedestrian countdown timers
• Ann Street, Central Station
• Elizabeth Street, General Post Office
• Elizabeth Street, Wintergarden
• Queen Street, Customs House
• Ann Street and Albert Street
• Elizabeth Street and Albert Street
• Roma Street and Makerston Street
• Ann Street and George Street
• Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley Station
• Benson Street and High Street, Toowong
• Coronation Drive and Sylvan Road, Toowong
• High Street and Sherwood Street, Toowong

Snapshot of Survey
• 1170 people were surveyed face to face
• 76% thought that the timers will make it safer to cross; only 3% said that the timers may make crossings unsafe (beginning to cross while the timer is still counting down)
• 84% thought the timers were useful
• 79% believed that timers should be rolled out across Brisbane
• There was a reduction (albeit small) of pedestrians violating the Don’t Walk signal. This was greater at locations where there was a long flashing Don’t Walk period and a shorter distance to cross (Adelaide/Albert)
• There were less instances of vehicle to pedestrian conflicts where the driver could see the timer counting (indicating that the pedestrian is still legal to be on the crossing)

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