Crossing the road at Hawthorn Bridge

Hawthorn Bridge is a fairly new suburban tram interchange between the 48 and 75 on the Hawthorn side of the Yarra River.

As part of the works when the current stop was built in the 2000s, the intersection between Burwood Road and Church Street was also revamped. Unfortunately this was done without much regard to pedestrians and their movement.

Pedestrian crossings at Hawthorn Bridge

The main problem is that in order to cross from the Creswick Reserve side (north) to the boatshed side (south) pedestrians have to navigate no fewer than five signalled crossings:

  1. Cross slip lane onto Church St
  2. Cross right turn lane onto Burwood Road
  3. Cross tram tracks
  4. Cross right turn lane from Church St into Bridge Rd
  5. Cross traffic lane from Burwood Rd into Bridge Rd

As you can see from the aerial view above, this is a lot for such a relatively short distance. I didn’t time it myself, but I was watching a man trying to cross while waiting at the tram stop and it took him at least a few minutes.

There is an alternative route which requires one less crossing visible on the satellite image above, but that takes even longer due to the poor sequencing of traffic lights.

Unfortunately, there are thousands of similar poor and/or dangerous facilities for pedestrians all around Melbourne and Australia. We need new approaches to road design that recognise and protect vulnerable road users and start prioritising public and active transport modes over cars.

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