Walking to the train stations – the most ordinary walk we make – can be painfully outdated and unsafe. Not that I expect too much, but as private motor vehicles receive the bulk of the right-of-way in most places most of the time; can I not, at least, cross safely in a few key places?
Here, for example, is my last intersection to cross to get to the train station close to where I live: https://goo.gl/maps/Mo3Q4hkKX4Ch7bw18
Here is how it is unsafe:
- Drivers do not slow down, and instead often try to take the curve at full speed, without changing gears.
- No car leaving the parking lot stops at the white stop line. Though they may yield to an oncoming car, the drivers never yield to a pedestrian. Doing so may cause an accident, I guess?
- There are no zebra crossings, either because no-one has thought of it or if they did it was: “Do you think were gonna paint everything?” The answer to which is no, but at high-use crossings between a train station and a park is among the better places to start. Drivers can be encouraged through signage (if not horizontal deflection) to pay attention and slow down in such places.
- The footpath ramp in the parking lot (mid-left) is a nice touch, but again, pedestrians yield to cars.
This is tolerated by the local council, Sydney trains, and/or Transport for NSW. I imagine there are thousands of such non-existent pedestrian crossings across the country.
This may be a small example in a small town on the fringe of Sydney, but what an easy places to start making improvements.
I feel the same sensation of un-safety almost everywhere I travel by train in NSW. (I have heard of improvements to the surrounds of stations on the new Metro.)
The image above is a suggestion for a very basic level of treatment using horizontal traffic calming – street narrowing – and regulation signage.