Shop owners and pedestrians are warning Warragul’s zebra crossings are dangerous and the intended purpose of the crossings has not been achieved.
Also published in today’s issue of TWC. Get it here.
The crossings were installed on Smith Street in January 2010 by the Baw Baw Shire Council with the intention of reducing traffic on the street.
Over two years later and any reduction in traffic has gone unnoticed while near-accidents occur frequently.
Even with the crossings in place, an average of 8,000 to 9,000 vehicles drive through Smith Street per day. Warragul’s population stands at 12,000 people according to the 2006 census.
A Baw Baw Shire spokesperson told The Warragul Citizen the council had no official records of traffic reports on hand from before the crossings were installed.
The spokesperson also stated the council believes the crossings had greatly increased pedestrian safety along the street.
But when questioned about whether the crossings have done their job, four shop owners and workers on Smith Street all said they had not noticed any reduction in traffic or any increase in pedestrians.
The workers also said they were concerned about what they have seen on the crossings.
“Dangerous, very dangerous,” one worker said.
Another spoke of the near-misses she sees from her shop window.
The council said traffic on other streets in Warragul had remained much the same as before the crossings were installed on Smith Street.
One pedestrian on Smith Street said he believed the crossings are “in the right place now,” and another praised the placing of the crossings for being safer for people with children.
But a young mother spoke of several near-misses she had experienced when crossing the road with her baby in a pram.
“People speed through just as we get half way across and nearly hit us,” she said.
This reporter had a similar experience as she tried to cross at one of the crossings while interviewing when a car sped through, almost hitting her.
The council spokesperson said the council’s opinion is that the crossings are a widely accepted part of the community now.
Get free email updates from the Baw Baw Citizen
Read more Baw Baw News