News / Road Safety

Council backs residents over dangerous bend

Councillor apologises to residents for lack of action over the years

The scene after one of the most recent accidents at the bend. Source: BEsafestreets

Mark Phillips
Friday, May 14, 2021

MORELAND council will escalate concerns about the dangerous Nicholson-Albion bend in Brunswick East by seeking an urgent meeting with Roads Minister Ben Carroll to end the stalemate over a solution for the car accident flashpoint.

Councillors on Wednesday night heard directly from the owner of a property that has been damaged eight times by cars crashing into its front fence, and then resolved to ask Mr Carroll to visit so he could see the site himself.

But despite the show of concern, the council denied responsibility for improving the notorious bend, which it says is the job of the Department of Transport.

A report prepared for the meeting said that as both Nicholson and Albion streets are arterial roads, the council was only responsible for managing the footpaths.

The council’s Director of City Futures, Kirsten Coster, said its options were limited because it did not control the road, but her department was examining proposals to take to the Department of Transport, including reducing the speed limit to 20kmh, perhaps with the addition of speed humps.

“This road is state owned and managed so the responsibility and decisions for all the safety infrastructure, whether that’s signage or guard rails sits with the Department of Transport,” she said.

“I can understand why it gets frustrating for residents, [but] we can only look after the footpath itself and we can only operate within the dimensions it exists as.”

Earlier in the meeting, Albion Street resident Nicole Kearney told councillors that her front fence had been damaged eight times in six years by drivers losing control at the bend and swerving off the road.

Ms Kearney said residents were frustrated that “the buck keeps getting passed”.

“I am terrified someone is going to get killed,” she said.

“We’ve had people hit the poles and knock the poles down in our streets, people hit the trees. I am only one of the many houses that’s been hit, most of the houses along our street have been hit once, often twice.”

Read more on this issue:

Cr Sue Bolton said the issue had reached crisis stage and the council should meet urgently with Mr Carroll.

“I think it’s actually nothing short of a scandal that nothing has been done about this area where almost every single house in this stretch on both sides of the road has been hit, or at least the fences have been hit,” she said.

She said apart from the property damage, the bend was hazardous for cyclists and pedestrians seeking to cross Albion Street after exiting Jones Park.

South Ward Cr Lambros Tapinos apologised to residents that their concerns had not been fully acted on.

“But it’s here, it’s in the chamber, we are acting upon it now and it’s important you do talk to the right people and the right people are the government and the Minister and that’s what’s happening now and that’s great to see,” he said.

After the meeting Ms Kearney said it was encouraging that the council now took the issue seriously, but a meeting with a government minister was not the same as action.

She said if a meeting with Mr Carroll went ahead, residents would push for trucks to be diverted away from the area and for it be downgraded from being an arterial road, along with other speed calming measures.

Want more stories like this? Click here to sign up to our mailing list to get the latest from Brunswick Voice delivered to you.