Rainbow crossing removed from Oxford Street

11 April 2013

Rainbow crossing removed from Oxford Street

Roads Minister Duncan Gay has announced the trial rainbow crossing on Sydney’s Oxford Street has been removed after the City of Sydney Council failed to follow through on its removal plans.

The Council advised the Transport Management Centre that it would begin removing the crossing on Wednesday night and the Government expected this to be carried out, Mr Gay said.

“But the crossing was not removed as planned leaving me with no option but to act in the interests of pedestrian and road safety and direct RMS to carry out the removal,” Mr Gay said.

“I want to make this very clear, this trial crossing was a goodwill gesture extended to Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Community to honor the 35th anniversary of Mardi Gras.

“This is a matter of road and pedestrian safety which has no association whatsoever with my respect for the history and community of Oxford Street.

“We have made clear the terms of the trial in writing from the start and they were understood and agreed to by the City of Sydney Council.

“Indeed, a Council minute dated February 25 clearly states “the RMS approval for the trial is valid until the end of March 2013.”

“But the behavior we have seen recorded by CCTV cameras including people sitting and laying on the crossing has set off alarm bells at the high risk of injuries and fatalities, with the City of Sydney Council’s own Safety Audit recording 17 incidents in a month.*

“The City of Sydney Council’s Road Safety Audit found “the behaviour witnessed on the crossing was considered a high risk of pedestrian / vehicle related incidents.

“Page 19 of the Council’s Safety Audit recommended the option of “removal of the crossing” warning the risks being taken by pedestrians “is likely to lead to a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle.

“The NSW Government is very concerned about these incidents to date and together with the findings of the safety audit these raise potentially serious public liability issues.

“My genuine offer to install alternative and permanent rainbow markings along footpaths, squares, street furniture and light poles has been rejected.

“As I have said several times Gilligan’s Island at Taylor Square would be a much safer place for the rainbow markings but the Lord Mayor is unwilling to discuss alternatives.

“Councilor Clover Moore has done her community a great disservice by making this issue about anything but road and pedestrian safety,” Mr Gay said.

*Oxford Street Rainbow Crossing: Concept Design and Post-Opening Road Safety Audit for City of Sydney. 6.1 Key Audit Findings (Page 14)
Media: Lance Northey 0467 743 192

View the original media release:
Rainbow crossing removed from Oxford Street 

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