I don’t know think I have posted before about just how anti-pedestrian Perth can be.

The lack of footpaths in just about any suburb developed between 1930 and 2005 can be excused – it was the trend everywhere. The thing that really gets my goat though is the treatment of pedestrians at intersections.

First, most traffic lights in Perth do not have pedestrian lamps. Pedestrians are just expected to cross “on the green” and in some cases standard green traffic lights have been provided for the “benefit” of pedestrians. The big problem is that Perth drivers do not give way to pedestrians. There is one set of lights recently where I was over half-way across the road and actually stepped off the median onto the carriageway and stood there on the roadway while right turning vehicles came over from my left shoulder and cut me off. There have also been times when as a driver turning a corner I have paused to let a pedestrian cross the road. Not only is the pedestrian generally bamboozled (why have I stopped??) but on at least one occasion I have had a car overtake me and turn left in front of me, cutting off the pedestrian anyway. If there are cars facing me waiting to turn right they will routinely turn in front too.

As a result of all this, pedestrians that have to cross the road tend to scuttle through gaps, and probably more cross on the red than the green, because at least then the traffic that you can see will be moving and the traffic you cannot will be stopped.

Also, many of the few lights that do have pedestrian phases, such as those in the CBD are fitted with four-way cross cycles. This means that there will be a car east-west cycle, a car north-south cycle and then an ‘all cars stop and pedestrians cross all ways’ cycle. Given that a pedestrian cycle has green and flashing red phases, this means that only 1/2 a cycle in three is for pedestrians. If you don’t want to cross all-ways then this can be very frustrating.

Is it any wonder that people drive everywhere?