Webster Road slip lanes Update #4 – July 6

As of this morning, the slip lane lights at Webster Road are operational.

TMR have opted not to use the “stop here on red arrow/signal” signs that BCC uses, and have retained the give way signs at the end of the slip lanes.

The pedestrian signals are synchronised with the main intersection lights, and will not change while the adjacent carriageway lights are green. At the crossing shown above, from Gympie to Webster Road, I measured a maximum pedestrian waiting time of 110 seconds – almost two minutes! Here’s a video of the crossing in action:

If you find yourself getting bored and impatient watching the video, consider how likely it is that pedestrians and cyclists will comply with the waiting time, and not just cross in a gap in traffic. But do watch it all the way through. There’s a fun surprise at the end…*

At the eastern slip lane, from Webster into Gympie, I measured a maximum wait time of 45 seconds – assuming you can actually cross when the signal finally changes:

Heavy traffic on Gympie Road and the fact this signal will never change during the Webster Road phase mean that the crossing is often blocked by vehicles waiting to turn.

The central crossing has not been modified at all, of course. This crossing only has a green pedestrian phase of 10 seconds per light cycle, despite being completely protected by the traffic on Gympie Road for up to 60 seconds before changing.

Why is this crossing held at red for an entire minute when it’s completely protected by the adjacent traffic?

There’s no reason this extra minute could not be added to the green time, or indeed any reason that the light here can’t dwell on green (automatically change without a pedestrian having pressed the button) to allow the bikeway traffic to cross safely and efficiently. It would be completely safe, would cost nothing, and wouldn’t affect the car phasing at all. It just never occurred to anyone on the project to do it – because despite the entire purpose of the project being to upgrade the pedestrian crossing, no-one at TMR was thinking about it from pedestrians’ point of view.

Good morning Nic,

I see that the lights on the slip lanes at Webster Road are fully operational this morning.

I also note that, due to the synchronisation of the slip lane lights with the main intersection, the western slip lane (Gympie to Webster) has a maximum pedestrian wait time of approximately 110 seconds, which seems to contradict Les Dunn’s assertion on 18 June (MC120130) that “both traffic signals to be installed on the slip lanes will have a short waiting period prior to turning green”.

Does the department stand by Mr Dunn’s claim, and believe that a wait time of nearly 2 minutes to cross a single slip lane, as one stage of a 3- or 4-stage signalised crossing, constitutes a “short waiting period” and is acceptable and compatible with TMR policy, including TRUM Volume 1, Part 9 6.5.3-6 (“Slip lane pedestrian signals need to respond quickly to pedestrian demand, otherwise they will result in a high level of pedestrian non-compliance which undermines the safety benefit of treatment”)?


This week we had confirmation from Bart Mellish that the 1.1 million dollar project at the intersection of Beckett, Bridgeman and Albany Creek Roads in Bridgeman Downs is, indeed, signalising the slip lanes.

Beckett/Bridgeman and Albany Creek Road.

This project is still in the early planning phase, so there is plenty of time to take the lessons from Webster Road and campaign for a better outcome here. Notably, it is a much more modern intersection, with existing auxiliary lanes which lend themselves to slip-lane removal, and high-angle approaches which lend themselves to raised priority “wombat” crossings. We can also be sure that whatever treatment happens here will in time be copied by the Brisbane City Council at the 17 other slip lanes along Bridgeman and Beckett Roads. So let’s make sure it’s a safer and more pedestrian-friendly one than signalisation.

* Yes, I made a late decision and crossed during the flashing red phase. But the driver still ran a red light and only – reluctantly – stopped when I made it clear I intended to keep walking in front of her.