The long promised Pegasus Crossing at Streeton Drive is finally functional. This is the first such crossing in the ACT. Pegasus Crossings are common in the rural cities of England and the United States but the only other ones we know of in Australia are associated with Centennial Park in Sydney and a racecourse in Adelaide.
Canberra’s first Pegasus Crossing maintains an old equestrian trail by connecting Dixon Drive and Unwin Street (formerly Unwin Place). Using this crossing you can travel from Illoura paddocks to North Weston Ponds (using the Cotter Road underpass) and cross the Molonglo River to the Arboretum. To make a round trip you can cross back over the River at the low level crossing to Equestrian Park and use the underpass on Yarralumla Creek to return to Curtin or Illoura paddocks. After crossing Streeton Drive, riders can also proceed up Waragamba Drive and Eucumbene Drive to Mt Stromlo or Narrabundah Hill or pick up the Bicentennial National Trail south through Coolaman Rudge.
The pedestrian crossing lights at Streeton Drive are manually operated by the usual push buttons on poles situated on the traffic islands on either side of Streeton Drive. Not the best option for horses. RoadsACT have, therefore, provided buttons on free standing poles situated back from the carriageways enabling riders to stay away from the road edge until they receive the signal to cross. The buttons are calibrated to give you more time than pedestrians to get you and your horse across a six lane roadway. The following Protocol is designed to help first time users. Several local riders are already successfully using the crossing. Any suggestions for making the protocol clearer are welcome.
- You can approach the Pegasus Crossing from the northern verges of Dixon Drive or Unwin Street.
- Buttons to activate the lights are on poles set back from the roadway and not on the traffic islands.
- The lights, once activated, will stop all traffic on travelling north and south on Streeton Drive.
- The lights will not stop the traffic using the slip lanes in and out of Dixon Drive and Unwin Street. For this reason you are advised to become a pedestrian and dismount and use the zebra crossing lines between the verges and the traffic islands as part of the crossing. Pedestrians have right of way, even if they are leading a horse.
- There are no crossing markings on Streeton Drive so you can make your own path across including walking around rather than through the central traffic island if you wish. If your horse is a nervous type choosing a course in an arc away from any stopped traffic would be sensible.
- Remember to look to your left before using the zebra crossings from the traffic islands
- Once the light turns green you will have 33 secs of green man and 12 secs of flashing red man to get across. This us plenty of time so you do not have to hurry unduly.
- There are large grey mounting blocks at either side of Streeton Drive, set back from the roadway to make mounting safer.