Friday, 8th November, 2013
By Andrew Robertson
Retirement village and nursing home residents are being forced to “play chicken” with traffic because of a lack of pedestrian crossings, according to the son of a resident.
Paul Armstrong, whose father lives at Con Crowley Village, said residents there have told him of the danger they face when crossing busy Galena Street to get to Westside Centro.
He said they want a pedestrian crossing over to the shopping centre so they don’t have to “play chicken with the traffic” every time they want to go shopping or catch up with friends.
The residents will face a similar problem in Blende Street when the new shopping centre opens next year. But Mr Armstrong claims residents have been told there are no plans for a crossing.
“I find it incredible that well over 100 elderly from Con Crowley and Shorty O’Neil Village and (other pedestrians) are being treated so shabbily,” he said.
“Surely the safety of our senior citizens should be in the uppermost thoughts of Council as a new shopping complex is being developed.”
Mr Armstrong said school students also cross Galena Street “in droves” and crossings should be put in both streets now so as to give traffic time to adjust before the new shopping centre opens in April.
“Two well-lit and defined crossings are essential in these areas.
“Let us not play dodgem cars with our elderly; they surely are worth more than that.”
A site plan of the Coles development shows a roundabout will be installed at the Blende and Gossan intersection that will incorporate pedestrian refuges, similar to the recently upgraded Oxide and Lane streets intersection.
But Con Crowley Village manager Steven Spooner said yesterday a crossing with lights would not only be safer but would also encourage residents to frequent the new shopping centre.
“A pedestrian crossing with lights would make the most sense,” Mr Spooner said.
“If it was easier to gain access it would be something they would use.”
Mr Spooner said neither Council nor the developer consulted with Southern Cross Care about access to the centre for residents.
He said the matter was raised at last week’s annual general meeting but at this stage was “not a huge issue” for residents.
Council’s Group Manager of Sustainability Peter Oldsen yesterday said: “Coles have advised that they will consider a mid-block pedestrian refuge in Blende Street subject to advice from appropriate consultants as to the feasibility and safety considerations.”
He also said pedestrian access across Galena Street to the plaza would be put before the Local Area Traffic Committee for consideration.