Joondalup council officers favour crossing ⿿refuge⿿ on Marmion Avenue

THE difficulty crossing Marmion Avenue between Kinross and Burns Beach has been on the radar of City of Joondalup officers for some time.

In August 2014, the City conducted a technical assessment of pedestrians crossing near the Edinburgh Avenue/Grand Ocean Entrance roundabout.

Using video, it was found 77 pedestrians crossed the road between 7am and 7pm and 27 crossed outside this time.

Of these, 33 per cent crossed two hours before and after school.

Joondalup infrastructure management manager Andrew Murphy said at last week’s briefing the video confirmed there was a difficulty crossing the road so $150,000 was set aside in the 2015-16 capital works budget to improve the crossing.

The City officers’ recommendation is to install a multi-stage crossing to the north of the Edinburgh Avenue/Grand Ocean Entrance roundabout with raised “refuges” installed between the two lanes on both sides of the dual carriageway, allowing pedestrians to cross one lane of traffic at a time.

The central refuge is proposed to be 2.5m (north-south) by 4.3m (east- west) and the between-lane refuges at 2.5m by 2m.

They will have a gap to allow for pedestrians with bikes and prams and have u-bars to make the crossing clear to drivers. There will also be connecting paths and signs on Marmion Avenue to alert drivers of the change in road layout.

He said Main Roads WA had endorsed the design, which has not been used before, for a 12-month trial. He said the trial would be a test for other locations in the City and the wider metropolitan region where there are similar issues.

Mr Murphy said an underpass or overpass were expensive options (more than $1.4 million for an underpass and more than $3.5 million for an overpass) and site constraints meant construction would be difficult.

He said officers also looked at a signalised crossing but Main Roads WA would be unlikely to approve it because the number of crossings was below the required amount of 350 per hour over three hours or 175 per hour over eight hours.

However, Kinross resident Mary O’Byrne, who has submitted a 1820-signature petition requesting an underpass or overpass crossing, said the City’s recommendation was not acceptable.

“The council’s preferred solution of refuge islands between lanes is worse because it sees a reduction in the size of the central island refuge, leaves pedestrians stranded on the smaller mid-lane refuges that have to accommodate pedestrians going in both directions and the degree of difficulty is compounded by the stream of fast-moving traffic moving around them,” she said.

Burns Beach resident and university student Oliver Cooksey, who has joined Ms O’Byrne’s campaign, said the new layout would greatly reduce the distance between pedestrians and vehicles.

“The five-year crash analysis reports there has been seven out-of-control crashes at the site,” he said.

“So given these new restrictive pedestrian refuge islands, the risk of a pedestrian being hit or seriously injured by an out-of-control vehicle will significantly increase.

“Also, the new path for this option does not take into account the close proximity of the southbound bike lane entering the path network near the pedestrian crossing, creating a potential conflict zone.”

He said advantages of installing an underpass, similar to one across Marmion Avenue in Currambine, were unobstructed connectivity between Kinross and Burns Beach, removing conflict between vehicles and pedestrians and no effect on traffic flow.

Burns Beach Residents Association chairman Adrian Hill said while an underpass would be “fantastic and make it safer”, the City officers’ recommendation would still be safer than the current situation, there was money in place and it was a 12-month trial so he saw “no reason why the council shouldn’t go ahead and install that as soon as possible”.

Also read: Plea made for underpass .