Isn’t a raised pedestrian crossing the same as a continuous footpath?


In this month’s City of Sydney Local Pedestrian, Cycling and Traffic Calming Committee, there is an item regarding pedestrian improvements to Little Regent St, Chippendale.

The intersection currently consists of a painted traffic island, resulting in an unprotected, very wide crossing for pedestrians accessing Central Station and Chinatown:

Below is the proposed design of a raised pedestrian crossing.

The document comments:

The TfNSW warrant for a raised pedestrian crossing was not satisfied, however, given the large numbers of pedestrians crossing this location and that a raised pedestrian crossing would improve safety, facilitate a continuous pedestrian link along Lee Street and slow vehicle speeds, it is proposed to proceed with the proposal.

This proposal was previously referred to TfNSW as a Continuous Footpath Treatment (CFT), however after further consideration TfNSW advised their preference for a Raised Pedestrian Crossing at this location.

So it feels good to have TfNSW supporting the need for a pedestrian crossing treatment despite not technically meeting the warrants (requirements).

Meanwhile, each month, City of Sydney have consistently been installing a bunch of Continuous Footpath Treatments around the place to prioritise pedestrians. (As you may have also noticed, to set a strong tone, unlike other local councils, their Local Traffic Committee is also uniquely renamed “Local Pedestrian, Cycling and Traffic Calming Committee”).

On a technical note the TfNSW RMS Guidelines to Continuous Footpath Treatments states:

Under the road rules, a footpath is a road related area. When entering, or crossing, a road related area from a road, drivers must give way to any pedestrians or other road users on the road related area.

Therefore, where pedestrian priority is desirable but a regulatory pedestrian crossing is not warranted, a continuous footpath treatment that is not differentiated in colour and texture from the adjacent footpath may be a suitable solution.

So basically, it looks like there isn’t a huge amount of difference except that a pedestrian crossing seems to be significantly and more visibly marked. What do you think? Do you have a preference?