Home » Cr Strunk defends Rudyard St intersection upgrade

Cr Strunk defends Rudyard St intersection upgrade

Megan Woolley    September 1, 2022    5 min read   

By Aiden Taylor 

Forest Lake ward Cr Charles Strunk has defended a proposal to install traffic lights at the intersection of Rudyard St and the Forest Lake Blvd, despite concerns it is in the wrong location.

Funding limitations of the national black spot program mean other dangerous intersections, such as Johnson Rd and Woogaroo St, will miss out on upgrades on this occasion.

The Australian Government will spend $1.5 million on construction of the lights, with works to run between November this year and May 2023.

This will include the installation of fully controlled right turn lanes, modified centre medians extending the right turn pocket, and a new road surface.

Cr Strunk said it will improve safety around the street and reduce traffic further along at Tewantin Way and Renoir Cr.

“You take your life in your hands if you turn right because you’re crossing four lanes of traffic,” he said. “It’ll also slow traffic on the boulevard and allow residents from Tewantin Way a break in the traffic so they can at least come out while the lights are red.”

Cr Strunk said little, if any, community consultation was offered as part of the proposal and that council could not afford to refuse the offer or review how the funding could be used.

“The funding was available for black spots, and we grabbed it,” he said. “In other words, council doesn’t really have a choice insofar as how the money is used because the federal government will be delivering it. There hasn’t been any community consultation from what I’m aware of because it was something that came out of the federal budget.”

A statement from the federal department for infrastructure and transport confirmed the nomination came from within Brisbane City Council.

Council would not answer which committee or representative put forward the idea.

According to the infrastructure and transport department’s website, community members, groups, and representatives are able to nominate locations for consideration.

Not all intersections make the list for this reason, meaning some of the ones with higher incidences of crashes might get missed.

Johnston Rd and Woogaroo St is one of those intersections that has resulted in more crashes than the Rudyard St site, but it will not benefit from this round of funding.

Between 2004 and 2021, 17 of 31 crashes at Johnson Rd and Woogaroo St caused hospitalisations.

Over a similar timeframe (2002 – 2019), five of the 15 incidents at the Rudyard St location ended in hospitalisations.

Locals quickly turned to the Forest Lake Community Facebook page to raise this point.

Local Brett Tealle was one of many who were left confused by the decision.

“Come on! Who put this ahead of Woogaroo and Johnson Road,” he wrote on the page in late July.

One common point expressed on the social media page touched on how the lights are too close to those at the boulevard and Homestead Way.

In a statement, Brisbane City Council said the Johnson Rd proposition is too expensive to qualify for this type of black spot funding, which is capped at $2 million.

“The federal government has a maximum cost criteria as part of the program,” the statement read.

“Future safety improvements such as at Johnson Road and Woogaroo Street intersection are considered in line with city-wide priorities.”

Some locals would also like to see the intersection of Tewantin Way and Forest Lake Blvd added to that list of priorities.

Four crashes have been recorded there since 2004, while no crashes have been documented on the other side of the intersection at Renoir Cr.

Local Kylie Jane was involved in a nasty prang while exiting Tewantin Way just over two years ago.

She was heading to the lake for a run at dusk when it happened. With one look right, she took her chance, thinking the path was clear. A split second later she was clipped by a 4WD and sent spinning across the road.

“He would have been driving into the sun, so I don’t think he saw me,” she said. “But I definitely remember thinking I have enough time. Even if you think you have enough time, you don’t.”

Ms Jane was not injured, but the shock has stuck with her.

“I felt like it all went in slow motion,” she said. “All I felt was the hit and spinning around before realising what was happening. There really should be traffic lights there.”

Opposite Tewantin Way, Renoir Cr presents similar challenges.

“The amount of time it takes for us to get out there in the morning, and it’s early morning as well, not just rush hour,” Renoir Cr resident Alan Hacker said. “You find that you’re taking risks unnecessarily out of frustration.”

Council will meet planning officials over the coming weeks and months to decide upon a final timeline and costs for the proposed upgrade.

To nominate an intersection, go to: https://investment.infrastructure.gov.au/about/local-initiatives/black-spot-program/nominate.aspx

Megan Woolley

Megan Woolley is a reporter and the social media manager for Logan West News who loves the art of crafting compelling stories and content. Currently based in Brisbane, Megan was born and raised in Logan and is completing her third year of a Bachelor of Communication and Journalism at Griffith University. In her spare time she likes to go for walks with a podcast plugged into her ears, go on spontaneous travel adventures and write poetry which she shares to her instagram; blooblossoms.