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Your views: on freeway safety and more

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on the SE Freeway downtrack, and an African MP who found SA sanctuary.

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Commenting on the opinion piece: Not even halfway there: Freeway truck crash shows we’re living on a prayer

Matthew Abraham is right – you’re living on a wing and a prayer, sitting at the Cross Road lights on the SE Freeway down track, at the tollgate.

The Premier is right too – you can’t legislate against stupidity and a lack of care and responsibility .

However, you can get these trucks off the freeway which has a descent which is dangerous for trucks, full-stop – and no amount of ‘safety measures’ will change that – particularly at a high cost for using the arrester beds. If a truck and car collide on the freeway then there’s 99.9% certainty that the car will come off second best.

And the freeway itself is the problem for trucks. I’d hate to have to try to drive a huge rig between Mount Barker and the tollgate (and stop safely after that descent, let alone do the Portrush Road ‘lane dance’ from the far left lane to the far right lane after Eagle on the Hill). What a nightmare for the truckies as well as the general public.

If you have to put in so many truck safety measures on the freeway and rely on truckies who may not be familiar with the road and its descent to descend safely and use arrester beds, then what does that tell you about the freeway itself?

It’s time to resurrect the plans to build the bypass from Murray Bridge or (maybe Mount Barker?) which were first proposed decades ago,  both for the sake of the truckies and the general public. Faster transit times for trucks and safer conditions on the freeway for everyone.  What is it going to take to recognise the bypass (maybe with a freight hub at Mount Barker) is the only solution and has always been the only solution?

$40 million on another arrester bed and relying on truckies to use it when they won’t use them now? Nuts. How much longer before we get it and divert funding from the South Road pretzel rollercoaster? And the longer we leave it the more expensive the bypass will get. – Catherine Bridgland

We should remember there is a live court case over this incident and avoid rushing to judgement.

The State government has already done as much as it can to manage traffic on the downhill section.

In my view a freight bypass “to the east” of the Adelaide Hills is unlikely to work. First geography means it will be long and costly. Second, travel surveys re likely to show most of the trucks are going to or from Adelaide, not through it. So we are stuck with them.

Subject to detailed study, it may be better to look at a grade separation (flyover or underpass) of the intersection. If Portrush Road could be connected underneath to Cross Road, and the SE Freeway connected direct to Glen Osmond Road, with off-ramps, the risk of trucks hitting queued traffic might be able to be eliminated.

This would be very costly (>$100 million) and would not be possible within current State road safety funding allocations.
It would need detailed study and Federal funding support. – Scott Elaurant

Please spare a thought for any pedestrian who has to walk across this intersection, it is the most terrifying experience.

Hence you will never see a mother with a pram, and older person with a frame or anyone who is not physically fit and active enough to flee the terrifying trucks as they do their right-hand turn into Portrush Road.

Yet our previous Minister for Infrastructure and Transport replied to my request for improved pedestrian safety at this intersection: “DIT’s Review indicated a low demand for pedestrian facilities at this intersection … there has been no crashes involving pedestrians in the past 10 years, which does not identify this location as a candidate for an upgrade based on safety grounds.” (17/1/21).

DIT’s flawed research did not take into account the terror walking across this intersection invokes. Pedestrians will need more than their Rosary beads not to be killed. Or will the Labor Government take pedestrian safety as a serious issue before more deaths occur. – Margaret Brown

The shelving of large, imaginative traffic management plans is matched by the Liberal government in the 70’s destroying Don Dunstan’s plans for the new city of Monarto, for which the land had been purchased and all the plans and modelling done.

Dunstan had the vision to see what would happen to the Adelaide Hills, and we would be in a far better position now. And don’t get me started on the long straight ski slope the Crafers down track has become. – Chris Matthews

Imagine for a moment how safe our roads would be with a global leading interconnected rail system for the movement of people, produce and products. With GHG emission and fuel consumptions ratings that far exceed transport standards, it remains our most efficient means of transport. Less trucks, buses and cars also means less road levies, taxes and charges.

Like electric cars this poses a problem for those who lack visionary leadership skills. With more accidents, road deaths and carnage per vehicular exposure than that most other transport routes, frequent users of the disgrace that is the Sturt Highway between Gawler and Waikerie know this only too well.

The solution is Rail. The same as it has always been. The most efficient form of mass transport ever invented. – Steve Beyer

Every time a person leaves their car at home and gets on public transport, our roads are safer and less congested.

Every time a long haul freight truck stays in the garage and the freight goes on rail, our roads are safer and less congested.

Every time our governments with DIT, widen another intersection to ‘keep the traffic moving’ our roads are less safe and damn it, more cars and
trucks turn up! Our roads are then less safe, our communities are divided and CO2 and other tail pipe pollutants increase.

More trains and buses please! And by the way, the MATS plan which fortunately was ditched, did include underground rail through the city, unfortunately this underground baby went with the bathwater. It’s time to link the Gawler line to the Seaford line and the new Mt Barker line with three underground stations in the City Square Mile. Safe and convenient, and less road congestion. – Peter Lumb

The article on the problem with the roads in Adelaide is a gem and is, unfortunately, very true. Why has it been so badly handled?

How come people’s hard-earned money is so wantonly spent on pitiful band aid projects in the hope of saving a few dollars. Is there no one with enough vision to see that the more concrete is poured on the same roads, the worse is the outcome? – Etiennette Fennell

Commenting on the story: Out of Africa: The Congo MP who sought SA sanctuary

I have met Dr Mulimbalimba a number of times, assisting with fund-raising to provide medical equipment and other items to his Congolese people.

This includes not just medical equipment, but also bicycles. Australians who have had a bicycle probably feel it’s not a big issue to own a bicycle, but to his people the bicycle provided a freedom they didn’t have and would not have been able to have without the bicycles donated from Australia. It meant for many of his people, particularly women, that they could transport heavy loads with greater ease compared to having to carry them physically.

Any negative comment on (anti-)social media is blatantly a pack of lies. He has explained many times during fund-raising meetings the oppression and cruelty inflicted on his people from local village chiefs opposed to his efforts to improve the lives of his people. Typical of Dr Mulimbalimba though, is that the greater part of his discussions and slide shows is how he has been able to help his people and the intense pleasure and benefits they get from those things for which we have been able to assist.

I have always found Dr Mulimbalimba to be an honest, trustworthy person, very frank in his demeanour and self-deprecating.

I am glad to be able to say I have met him many times and have been, in some small way, able to assist him in his efforts to better the lives of his less-fortunate Congolese people.

Dr Mulimbalimba, I salute you. May you be able to continue your efforts. Rest assured I will treat any (anti-)social media criticisms with the derision they deserve. – Ray Goulter

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