Concern about safety on Waterson Way
ALMOST one year has passed since residents of Waterson Way came forward to raise important safety issues about their street and yet nothing appears to have changed.
Speeding motorists and a lack of speed controls such as speed humps, signage, pedestrian crossings and refuge islands, coupled with a lack of pavements and inadequate lighting, were all raised as issues that could lead to a child on the street being hurt, or worse, killed ( Whitsunday Times, November 22, 2012).
Iyas Shaheen, who lives on the street with his partner Mandy Coles and their daughter Hannah Shaheen, said residents had waited patiently for the Airlie Beach main street upgrade to be finished, with the assumption that once this happened Waterson Way would be transferred from Council to the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and that something would be done.
“[But] the street is finished now and we don’t want to wait until someone gets hurt and then start looking at the problem,” he said.
A spokesperson from TMR confirmed Waterson Way would become a state-controlled road but said TMR was negotiating with Whitsunday Regional Council “in relation to works that are to be completed to Wa- terson Way to bring it up to a state standard”.
The spokesperson said TMR would seek advice from Council regarding any community concerns already been raised by residents.
“Safety is our priority and we invite concerned residents to forward their issues through to Transport and Main Roads so we can address them,” the spokesperson said.
Whitsunday mayor Jennifer Whitney said there was additional funding involved in delivering the outcomes required by TMR for Waterson Way.
“But it’s not insurmountable – it’s not in the millions of dollars [and] the priority for us is that we do get that exchange of roads,” she said.
“What we can do though [in the meantime] is work with the community and the police and request that police patrol that road more frequently so we can enforce the speed limit and maintain the safety of our community.”
Whitsunday Police acting sergeant Nathan Blain reminded residents that the default speed limit was 50km per hour in built up areas unless otherwise signed.
He urged residents to report any traffic concerns to the Whitsunday Station on 4948 8888 or Police Link on 131 444.
SLOW DOWN: Waterson Way resident Iyas Shaheen with his eightyear-old daughter Hannah, beside the only speed limit signs on the street that mark the end of the construction zone.