Spotted

Spotted around the RACV centre in Bourke Street…

I’m not sure what these things are called. They’re from the days before traffic lights — before my time. The only problem with these ones is that two directions are getting a green signal at once, which would result in a crash.
Traffic, RACV centre

This street sign looks a little different. Ah, you see the footnote on it? “Private lane”. Presumably this is because it leads only to the RACV’s carpark, and is on RACV property. But it may have legal implications as well — at a conventional street corner, traffic coming into the side street needs to give way to pedestrians crossing it, but coming out doesn’t. I reckon if it’s a private lane, then like at a car park entrance, traffic needs to give way in both directions.
Private lane, RACV centre

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15 Replies to “Spotted”

  1. Interesting, I thought vehicles must give way to pedestrians at intersections (except round a bouts) regardless of the direction of travel of the vehicle.

  2. I well remember these on the intersection of Burke Road and High Street when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s. They used to fascinate me as a child.

  3. I was just going to write that they are Marshalites, but others got here first LOL. There is a pair of those in a park in Chelsea as well .. in Bicentennial park (Scotch parade). Had never heard about those until we found a geocache in that park.

  4. They aren’t actually traffic lights but indicators of what the traffic lights are going to do. The closer the hand got to the yellow section, the harder my grandfather would plant his foot to get through before the traffic lights went red. Possibly why they were removed.

  5. In their later days Marshalites were combined with ordinary traffic signals, particularly in the Nepean Highway. A restored operating set can be found in Bicentennial Park in Chelsea as a pedestrian crossing across the access road as noted in the following comment:

    http://sunburyarts.blogspot.com/2010/11/marshalite.html

    They were phased out due to mechanical maintenance and drivers anticipating the change from red to green and jumping the gun.

  6. What do you mean by “But it may have legal implications as well โ€” at a conventional street corner, traffic coming into the side street needs to give way to pedestrians crossing it, but coming out doesnโ€™t.” ?

    That doesn’t sound right.

  7. They appear to have clarified that in the 2009 regulations, which now include a new rule 353(1)b.

    353 References to pedestrians crossing a road
    (1) If a driver is turning from a road at an
    intersectionโ€”
    (a) the driver is required to give way to a
    pedestrian who is crossing the road that the
    driver is entering, only if the pedestrian’s line
    of travel in crossing the road is essentially
    perpendicular to the edges of the road the
    driver is entering; and
    (b) the driver is not required to give way to a
    pedestrian who is crossing the road the driver
    is leaving.

    That doesn’t exist in the older 1999 rules, which don’t seem to say anything about pedestrians giving way in this situation, and probably relies on the “don’t obstruct” rule
    236. Pedestrians not to cause a traffic hazard or obstruction
    (1) A pedestrian must not cause a traffic hazard by moving into the path of a
    driver.

    I think this is retrograde step. They should have changed it the other way, and made the driver give way to the pedestrian, with a similar rule change for roundabouts, which are extremely difficult to cross as a pedestrian when busy.

  8. Ah, roundabouts. You need to be observing when a vehicle entering the roundabout is blocking a vehicle that would otherwise going to be in your way. That’s a clumsy explanation, but I can’t use a drawing in this forum.

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