Res­i­dents seek ur­gent ac­tion at in­ter­sec­tion

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS - by Carolyn Turner

A group of Clover­lea and Dar­num res­i­dents have called for ur­gent ac­tion to ad­dress safety con­cerns at the in­ter­sec­tion of Dar­num-Al­lam­bee Rd and Park­ers and Bona Vista Rds in­ter­sec­tion, Dar­num.

The in­ter­sec­tion was the scene of a ma­jor ac­ci­dent on Oc­to­ber 20.

A group of about 30 res­i­dents at­tended a meet­ing on Sun­day called by the Dar­numEllinbank CFA and Clover­lea Progress As­so­ci­a­tion.

Sev­eral res­i­dents re­counted sto­ries of ac­ci­dents they had been in­volved in while oth­ers had been in­volved in near misses or wit­nessed ac­ci­dents.

Two weeks ago Baw Baw high­way pa­trol sergeant Carlo Visser told The Gazette po­lice and the shire had as­sessed the in­ter­sec­tion but un­for­tu­nately, in most cases, col­li­sions came down to driver er­ror.

He said the in­ter­sec­tion com­plied with all reg­u­la­tions for sight dis­tances and safety sig- nage.

How­ever, res­i­dents ar­gue that more needs to be done in­clud­ing stop signs, ad­vance warn­ing signs ad­vis­ing of dan­ger and the in­stal­la­tion of rum­ble strips which have not been re­placed after road re­seal­ing.

Progress as­so­ci­a­tion deputy pres­i­dent Paul Strick­land said he had been ad­vised by the of­fi­cer in charge of Baw Baw High­way Pa­trol sergeant Andy Mil­bourne that there had been 10 ma­jor ac­ci­dents at the in­ter­sec­tion in the past 10 years.

He said Sgt Mil­bourne said he was pre­par­ing a re­port for Baw Baw Shire and would rec­om­mend the speed limit on all three roads be re­duced to 80 kp/h near the in­ter­sec­tion.

He also would rec­om­mend the re­place­ment of rum­ble strips on Bona Vista Rd, ad­di­tional ad­vance warn­ing sig­nage and the re­moval of veg­e­ta­tion on Park­ers Rd to im­prove vis­i­bil­ity.

Mr Strick­land said the ul­ti­mate im­prove­ment would be to off­set the in­ter­sec­tion which would force peo­ple to slow down.

Res­i­dents con­sid­ered while both ap­proaches were dan­ger­ous, more ac­ci­dents and near misses oc­curred with traf­fic trav­el­ling east on Bona Vista Rd.

Some res­i­dents be­lieved stop signs which were in place many years ago were re­moved to al­low War­ragul Cy­cling Club to use the roads for rac­ing.

Mr Strick­land said the road may con­form to reg­u­la­tions in re­la­tion to line of sight but it was ob­vi­ous some­thing was wrong and gen­er­ally peo­ple were ap­proach­ing the in­ter­sec­tion too fast.

“If there were stop signs I think it would raise alarm bells and alert driv­ers on the need to ac­tu­ally stop,” he said.

Baw Baw Shire en­gi­neer David Hair said round­abouts and traf­fic off­sets were costly projects when other changes could im­prove safety.

He said he would or­gan­ise traf­fic coun­ters (which also mea­sure speed) to de­ter­mine the amount of traf­fic us­ing the in­ter­sec­tion.

He said rum­ble strips could also be im­proved.

Baw Baw Shire mayor Mikaela Power said coun­cil had al­ready had some dis­cus­sions about the in­ter­sec­tion.

She urged res­i­dents to or­gan­ise a pe­ti­tion and take part in coun­cil’s bud­get pro­gram where peo­ple can list the top three items to be funded.

“In some in­stances, I have heard of peo­ple sub­mit­ting the same project three times,” she said.

Cr Peter Kos­tos said when all the in­for­ma­tion was avail­able coun­cil could ad­vo­cate to Vic Roads for changes.

Mr Strick­land said the im­por­tance of the is­sue was ob­vi­ous when 30 peo­ple at­tended a hur­riedly con­vened meet­ing on a Sun­day evening.

At a met­ing to dis­cuss changes to the Dar­num-Clover­lea, Park­ers and Bona Vista Rds in­ter­sec­tion are (from left): Dar­num-Ellinbank CFA cap­tain John Camm, Clover­leas Progress As­so­ci­a­tion deputy pres­i­dent Paul Strick­land, Baw Baw Shire mayor Mikaela Power and Cr Peter Kos­tos.

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