The Move Safe Brisbane Pedestrian Safety Review used a web-based approach to gather community feedback about locations where it was felt that road safety could be improved.
The review combined more than 6,300 individual pieces of feedback from community interest groups with Queensland Police Service crash data, Council pedestrian and traffic counts, and traffic speed data. This collated data was then used to identify and prioritise pedestrian safety projects.
The safety projects realised include speed reductions, scramble crossings and new signalised pedestrian crossings.
Brisbane is a 1,343 square kilometre city with more than 5,700 kilometres of local government roads. The challenge facing the project was the data showed the number of pedestrian fatalities in Brisbane for 2018 was tracking 15-20 per cent higher compared to the five-year average covering the period from 2013-17.
The cost to the community was also significant, with an analysis for the five years to 2017 showing there were 17,500 road crashes in Brisbane, valued at around $4.8 billion, while in the same period pedestrian crashes cost the community $442 million.
Because of the severity of pedestrian crashes, the average cost of a crash where a pedestrian was involved was almost double the cost of other road crashes – in fact, the study revealed that In 2017 alone the 215 pedestrian crashes that occurred had a societal cost of just under $100 million.
To reduce the number of pedestrian crashes, Move Safe Brisbane examined international and Australian best-practice for improving pedestrian safety. One of the key findings was to encourage walking and ensuring key areas are walkable, safe and appealing. The study also found that busy urban areas work best – both in economic and social terms – when walking is encouraged, and pedestrians are given a safe and unimpeded right of way.
The result was the implementation of the Safe System, which is an approach recognising people make mistakes, and that there is a limit to the amount of force a human body can actually take.
To further bolster the Safe System approach, a new suite of traffic signs was developed by the Queensland Government’s Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR)
Village precinct speed reductions were also adopted, however the final outcome of these initiatives by Move Safe Brisbane will be borne out by lower pedestrian crash rates in Brisbane and across the rest of Queensland.