How long does it take to build a pedestrian crossing?

One might think building a pedestrian crossing would be pretty easy, but for set of traffic lights in Sunshine, it was anything but.

Traffic signals on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent roundabout finally commissioned, but still marked as a zebra crossing

The background

The story starts at Sunshine station, upgraded in 2014.

VLocity VL16 passes through Sunshine on the up

But for pedestrians crossing Hampshire Road they still needed to dodge four lanes of traffic at a roundabout.


Google Street View October 2018

So in 2015 Brimbank City Council proposed improvements to the area.

Sunshine Town Centre – Sunshine Station entry upgrades/integration

Improvements to Hampshire Road bridge and roundabouts to reflect new station entry arrangements at upgraded Station. Initiatives to prioritise safe pedestrian access to the station and safe cycle access over Hampshire Road. Design in first year with construction in following year.

A consultant was engaged to do a traffic study.

In 2016 SALT is conducting a study of proposed bicycle and pedestrian improvements in the Hampshire Road precinct in Sunshine, Victoria.

This involves preparing concept and functional designs for cycle paths over the Hampshire Road overpass and pedestrian crossings between Sunshine railway station and surrounding residential areas.

It was decided to add a set of pedestrian operated traffic signals , and remove one of the southbound lanes on Hampshire Road to make room for an on-road bicycle lane.


Brimbank City Council

With the design put to tender in late 2018.

Hampshire Road Overpass – Southern Pedestrian Crossing

Contract Number
19/2612

Released Date
1/12/2018

Closed Date
23/01/2019

Awarded to Harte Civil VIC Pty Ltd
$392,407.09 (ex. GST)

Construction time

Work started in July 2019.

Hampshire Road narrowed so that a raised hump can be built at the future pedestrian crossing

With Hampshire Road dug up.

Stormwater swale under construction

So that a raised hump could be created for the pedestrian crossing.

Raised hump on Hampshire Road where a pedestrian crossing will be installed

But traffic management left a lot to be designed – route 903 buses were detoured around the worksite, with zero information given by Public Transport Victoria.

Route 903 buses in the back streets of Sunshine due to roadwork on Hampshire Road south of the railway station

By August 2019 things were starting to look real.

Installing a pedestrian crossing on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent roundabout

The traffic lights put into place at the pedestrian crossing.

Installing a pedestrian crossing on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent roundabout

Confusion reigns

Despite the traffic lights being switched off, the crossing was opened to pedestrians.

Yet to be commissioned traffic signals on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent roundabout temporarily signed as a zebra crossing

Signed as a zebra crossing, but no zebra stripes on the road.

Yet to be commissioned traffic signals on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent roundabout temporarily signed as a zebra crossing

There things stayed until January 2020, when fences appeared overnight at the crossing.

Yet to be commissioned traffic signals on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent fenced off and out of service after a short period being treated as a half-arsed zebra crossing

Blocking pedestrian access.

Yet to be commissioned traffic signals on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent fenced off and out of service after a short period being treated as a half-arsed zebra crossing

Featuring a ‘pedestrian crossing under maintenance’ sign from Brimbank City Council.

Yet to be commissioned traffic signals on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent roundabout now temporarily painted up as a zebra crossing

And a pedestrian detour to the next set of traffic lights – 150 metres away.

Pedestrian detour around the yet to be commissioned traffic signals on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent roundabout

The next day the crossing had reopened.

Traffic controllers help pedestrians cross at the yet to be commissioned traffic signals on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent roundabout

But with traffic controllers stopping traffic every time a pedestrian wanted to cross.

Traffic controllers help pedestrians cross at the yet to be commissioned traffic signals on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent roundabout

And just as soon as they arrived, they were replaced by zebra stripes painted on the road surface.

Yet to be commissioned traffic signals on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent roundabout now temporarily painted up as a zebra crossing

Making it a ‘real’ zebra crossing.

Yet to be commissioned traffic signals on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent roundabout now temporarily painted up as a zebra crossing

And finally done

March 2020, and the traffic lights were finally switched on.

Traffic signals on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent roundabout finally commissioned, but still marked as a zebra crossing

Allowing the zebra stripes to be painted out.

Traffic signals on Hampshire Road at the Sun Crescent roundabout finally commissioned

Only six months from ‘completion’ to actually functioning!

Footnote – zebra crossings

Road Safety Road Rules 2017 states:

(1) A driver approaching a pedestrian crossing must drive at a speed at which the driver can, if necessary, stop safely before the crossing.

(2) A driver must give way to any pedestrian on or entering a pedestrian crossing.

(3) A pedestrian crossing is an area of a road—

(a) at a place with white stripes on the road surface that—

(i) run lengthwise along the road; and
(ii) are of approximately the same length; and
(iii) are approximately parallel to each other; and
(iv) are in a row that extends completely, or partly, across the road; and

(b) with or without either or both of the following—

(i) a pedestrian crossing sign ;
(ii) alternating flashing twin yellow lights.

So technically a zebra crossing sign but no stripes on the road isn’t a pedestrian crossing, but a set of zebra stripes without a sign is.

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14 Responses to “How long does it take to build a pedestrian crossing?”

  1. andrew says:

    My reading of the rule is that a pedestrian crossing must have stripes on the road; hence the council’s sudden panic of closing the crossing -> manual traffic control -> stripes.

    Subclause (3a) is unconditional and must be satisfied for an area of the road to be a pedestrian crossing.

  2. Daniel says:

    A shame they didn’t leave it as a zebra crossing.

    • B.J. says:

      Probably don’t get enough zebras to warrant it.

    • Marcus Wong says:

      The same project added a pedestrian crossing on the east side of the station at Station Place – it’s a zebra crossing, not traffic lights. However that road is a lot quieter – just a single lane, and only one bus route instead of three.

    • DT says:

      Probably because too many drivers don’t actually give way at them, cars ignore them all the time at the Docklands

      • B.J. says:

        Thinking about this – I wonder if zebra crossings are simply outdated. I think there are issues both with drivers and pedestrians here:

        Drivers are focused on the road ahead, other cars’ behaviour, other signs and signals. A speed-hump crossing will help cars slow down, but drivers will be thinking about that rather than pedestrians. Drivers aren’t looking out for pedestrians until they’re fully on the crossing. And sometimes…

        Pedestrians have also got this habit of stepping onto the crossing without looking first. Yes, as a pedestrian you have priority at a crossing, but if you’ve got vehicles coming faster than Usain Bolt (40km/h or more) then pulling up in time might be an issue. If you’re crossing without looking, you’re not taking personal responsibility for your actions.

        The compromise: when I was growing up in Box Hill South, we had a set of pedestrian lights on Station Street outside the Orange Lodge seniors homes. If you pressed the call button, the traffic lights immediately went from green to orange, to red… Walk. And then back to green and traffic continues. It was highly responsive. I remember a newer set of lights on Canterbury Rd, pressing the call button and waiting FIVE MINUTES for the Walk signal. That old crossing on Station St, I remember that for how fast it operated.

        • Marcus Wong says:

          If the pedestrian crossing takes an eternity to change, everyone loses – pedestrians just cross the road at the first gap in the traffic, leaving cars siting there at a needless red light.

    • Jedd C says:

      The simple reason for the change is that the crossing was built as a bicycle facility. Cyclists are prohibited from riding across Zebra crossings without disembarking their bikes and walking.

  3. Steve says:

    The footnote says

    (3) A pedestrian crossing is an area of a road—

    (a) at a place with white stripes on the road surface…

    and…

    (b) with or without either or both of the following—

    (i) a pedestrian crossing sign ;
    (ii) alternating flashing twin yellow lights

    Therefore, while the signs and lights are optional, the stripes are not.

  4. Andrew says:

    You are querying the competence of well paid consultants and professionals? I do daily.

  5. Steve says:

    Then there’s the pedestrian access through the eastern City Place car park that hardly anyone uses (myself included when I used to drive to Sunshine and park on side streets) because it’s not the most direct path to the station entrance.

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