Cross about crossing
HE LIVES on the edge of Coffs CBD but can’t get into town. Chris Peers is legally blind, he is proudly independent and gets about using a cane.
“I get about all right but the most frustrating thing is I can’t get into town to do something simple like buy a new pair of shoes.” Chris said.
“Town centre is just across the road but, because there is no pedestrian crossing, I can’t get safely to the other side.”
The road is Earl St, where it crosses Harbour Drive. A busy intersection with a roundabout and supermarket, community centre and skate park facing it.
“I can get to Coles using the pedestrian crossing right outside the store but I can’t get across Earl St safely.
“At times boys from the skate park have stopped traffic so I can get across, and occasionally, but not often, a motorist stops but something needs to be done. I’ve been clipped a couple times from foldaway side mirrors on cars,.
“I’m not asking just for me, there are plenty of other residents, mums and kids from the nearby parks who walk along here to get to town.
“I’ve contacted Andrew Fraser’s office, Luke Hartsuyker’s office and the council. Mayor Denise Knight spoke with me twice and was extremely nice but couldn’t give me a direct answer.”
A Coffs Harbour City Council spokesperson said, “We have already investigated a number of possible options including a new marked pedestrian crossing at the site.
“Ideally we would like to resolve the issue as soon as possible but unfortunately in this particular case there are a number of limitations on our ability to act freely.
“New pedestrian crossings in NSW require the permission of the RMS. Our last submission was rejected because the traffic and pedestrian usage at the site did not meet the minimum volumes to gain approval. We continue to work on the issue and are retesting the traffic and pedestrian volumes with a view to taking the case back to the RMS as soon as is possible.”
AT RISK: Chris Peers faces danger each time he tries to cross Earl St. Subscribers can watch video online of his daily ordeal.