News / Road Safety

Brunswick East residents ‘feel unsafe’ on their own footpaths

Twenty-eight incidents of property damage reported at notorious Nicholson-Albion street bend

Albion Street resident Nicole Kearney sits among the debris of her front fence, which has been destroyed eight times in the past five years.

Mark Phillips
Monday, April 26, 2021

A NEW survey of residents living in the vicinity of the intersection of Nicholson and Albion streets in Brunswick East has found 92% feel unsafe walking on the footpath near the bend.

The survey results have prompted Brunswick MP Tim Read to call for Victorian Roads Minister Ben Carroll to visit the area and speak to residents about their concerns.

Residents were invited to take part in the survey earlier this month after the front fence of a house near the intersection was hit by a car for the second time within three weeks.

Of the 39 respondents, 92% rated walking on the Albion-Nicholson footpath as unsafe and 95% said they had seen evidence of an incident along the bends two or more times in the last 12 months. Just over half of all respondents live on the bend.

Respondents reported 28 separate incidents of fence damage, mostly in the past five years, and 11 of those who live on the bend have had their property damaged by a vehicle at least once.

Read more: Residents step up campaign for safer streets

Mr Read sent the survey results to Mr Carroll and received a reply on Friday. He said while Mr Carroll had not committed to anything, it was promising that he had replied so quickly.

Mr Read said he would welcome the opportunity to show Mr Carroll the dangerous intersection and to give residents the opportunity to discuss their concerns. Mr Carroll recently visited Brunswick East Primary School for Ride to School Day, but that was before the latest spate of incidents at the bend.

“I would love to meet the minister there [at the intersection],” he said.

Brunswick MP Tim Read.

“It doesn’t take a lot of skill or knowledge to see how obviously unsafe the bend is. It is quite surprising that so many of the cars have run into one house and that really suggests there’s some sort of design flaw when so many cars hit the same spot.”

A residents group, BEsafestreets, has proposed a range of possible solutions to make the area less dangerous, including a redesign of the bend, street calming measures such as rumble strips or speed humps, restrictions on trucks using the road, a safer pedestrian crossing for Brunswick East Primary School students, and a dedicated cycling path.

Mr Read said he was not wedded to any particular solution.

“I wonder whether it needs to be turned into more of a T-shaped intersection at the end where Nicholson hits Albion, with the rounded corner squared off more with a stop sign or give way sign,” Mr Read said.

“I’m not trying to suggest or impose a particular solution, that’s something for the engineers to work out. My role is to keep active until it’s fixed.

“For me, it’s part of making it safe to walk and ride around the neighbourhood which is becoming so much more important as traffic congestion worsens.

“People want and need to get around Brunswick on foot or two wheels to stay out of traffic jams but they need to be able to do so safely.”

Mr Read has also raised the matter in Parliament and will be receiving a briefing from the Department of Transport next month.

Brunswick East residents step up campaign for safer streets