Residents seek urgent action at intersection
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.