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Fatality waiting to happen: woman

Thursday, 28th November, 2013

Busy Galena Street has one former resident concerned for the safety of her mother. Busy Galena Street has one former resident concerned for the safety of her mother.

By Erica Visser

A former local woman fears for the safety of her elderly mother when crossing Galena Street to the shopping centre but says that City Council won’t listen to her pleas.

Sharon Kemp’s 89-year-old mother lives near Centro Westside Plaza and, according to Ms Kemp, regularly has to wait up to 15 minutes to cross the street in front of the McDonalds restaurant.

Ms Kemp has written to Council twice on the need for a pedestrian crossing or refuge but says she has been left hanging.

“It regularly takes her over 10 to 15 minutes to cross Galena Street as she has to look out for nine separate outlets or roads that she has to watch out for traffic from,” Ms Kemp said.

“Once she gets a break she has to be quick, as vehicles can come from all directions - quite a feat for an 89-year-old.”

But Ms Kemp said that it wasn’t just her mother at risk.

“I have also seen hoards of schoolchildren swarming across Galena Street after school and my heart is in my mouth watching them,” she said.

“They dawdle across and scare the hell out of me!”

Ms Kemp said that after she wrote to Council for the second time she received a letter acknowledging her concern.

“That was in August. I have heard nothing since,” she said.

“I haven’t rang (Council’s Manager of Infrastructure Paul DeLisio) due to a lot of other things going on but was planning to in December.”

Ms Kemp said that she felt helpless as she no longer lived in the city and that the matter was an urgent one.

“I fear someone is going to be hit. They need a pedestrian refuge at least, but preferably a crossing.

“...There will be a fatality. I just hope it isn’t my mother or all hell will break loose.”

Mr DeLisio told the BDT that he was aware the matter had been reported to Council.

“Council is responsible for pedestrian facilities on local roads including Galena Street,” he said.

“The facilities provided are based on an assessment of the risks considering the level of pedestrian traffic that is expected.”

Mr DeLisio said that the Traffic Committee, which includes Council, police and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) representatives, was investigating the matter.

“The matter has been considered by the committee. At this stage investigations are ongoing to determine the most appropriate traffic facilities and what (if any) alterations should be made,” he said.

“Whilst it is technically possible to construct a pedestrian crossing in the area, there are RMS guidelines that apply to traffic facilities including pedestrian crossings. 

“It is almost certain that the pedestrian traffic in the area would not warrant the construction of a dedicated pedestrian crossing. 

“Other facilities such as the construction of blisters and a pedestrian refuge might be more appropriate to this location.”

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