Dangerous crossing putting lives at risk

25 July 2013

Carers and people with a disability are calling for action to stop pedestrian traffic accidents and terrifying “near misses” on Kurrajong Avenue in Mount Druitt.

Every weekday two hundred and fifty people with intellectual disabilities face down trucks and speeding cars without the aid of even a zebra crossing, traversing Kurrajong Avenue to Endeavour Foundation’s Mt Druitt supported employment service.

Ken Bailey, whose daughter works for Endeavour Foundation, has been fighting for eight years to have something done, fearing serious consequences.

“It’s really bad when everyone leaves together between 3.30 and 4pm each day. We don’t want someone to die before this is fixed,” Mr Bailey said.

As a former member of Blacktown Council’s Ward 5 Access Committee, Mr Bailey says he raised the issue of pedestrian safety on Kurrajong Avenue at “almost every meeting”, with no success.

Mr Bailey’s pleas for traffic lights, speedbumps, signage or a 40 kilometre speed limit were all rejected, due to the cost involved.

Most employees at Endeavour Foundation travel independently to work via bus or train. However crossing Kurrajong Avenue is by far the most nerve-wracking part of the journey each day.

Endeavour Foundation Commercial Manager Denise Apps said the small pedestrian safety zone  was in the wrong place.

“The refuge island is where trucks reverse in and out. Trucks often hit the safety bollard and even knock it down. It’s not a safety zone, but more of a danger zone,” Ms Apps said.

“Schools and aged care centres have signage warning drivers to slow down and take care, so why not here?” she said.

Endeavour Foundation Board Member Edward Mason said it was time Blacktown Council took action to protect life and safety.

“We’ve had seven near misses here in fifteen months, as well as people falling over or spraining their ankles while crossing the road. Worse still, a person with a disability was hit by a car earlier this year. We are grateful that her injuries were not more serious,” he said.

“The time for talk is over – Council must act now,” Mr Mason concluded.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kirrily Boulton, phone 0429 077 886.