By Breanna Inferrera
A GOOSEBERRY Hill resident is urging the community to support a petition calling for upgrades to a ‘dangerous’ crosswalk in the heart of Kalamunda.
On June 27, Tash Adams said she witnessed a ‘near miss’ at the crosswalk on Canning Road between Haynes Street and Heath Road.
“A person on a mobility scooter outside the former IGA was unable to cross the road due to cars driving through the crosswalk and not stopping,” Ms Adams said.
“They made it to the refuge island, where another car drove through the crosswalk and didn’t stop.
“They crossed in front of a 4WD accelerating towards them which had to break heavily to avoid hitting them.”
In light of the incident, Ms Adams created a Facebook post, which received a huge response from the community and City of Kalamunda councillors, for others to share their experiences at the crosswalk and suggestions to improve safety.
“I am concerned a child, elderly person or person with a disability may be injured or killed using the crosswalk,” Ms Adam said.
According to Main Roads WA, in the five years to December 31, 2019, there has been a total of seven crashes on Canning Road between Haynes Street and Heath Road, with one of these involving a pedestrian.
In August 2019, the City installed a zebra crossing to address what it says were immediate safety concerns being raised with no crossing.
“Whilst the City was prepared to fully fund a traffic light-controlled crossing point, approval of Main Roads WA is required,” the City said.
“Main Roads WA have a set of rules called warrants which set out what sort of crossing points will be approved largely based on the numbers of vehicles and pedestrians.
“In this situation, they would only approve a zebra crossing.”
Main Roads WA spokesman Dean Roberts said the warrants for a signalised crossing require a significantly higher number of vehicles and pedestrians to be present.
“Alternatively, signalised crossing may be considered if the pedestrian crossing met the warrants for a zebra crossing and significant safety issues can be demonstrated such as the width of the carriageway, traffic speed or traffic volume,” he said.
The City said it also sought appeal through to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti citing the community’s concerns, however, the State has not yet approved any higher standard of crossing point.
Councillor Kathy Ritchie said she first started a petition in late 2019 after the zebra crossing was installed and her visually impaired friend Yvonne Huntley came to her with concerns.
“The City put some signs and flashing lights in to start with to warn people a new crosswalk was there,” she said.
“But it was pretty evident some people were still going straight through the crosswalk.
“That really sparked my concern that eventually when those signs and flashing lights are removed, the situation would become even more dangerous and frankly, it did.”
Cr Ritchie said the matter has been exacerbated since the closure of Crabbs Kalamunda IGA in February.
“More elderly people are needing to come from the west to go to Coles or Aldi instead,” she said.
Cr Ritchie’s petition has now resurfaced in the hope Kalamunda MLA Matthew Hughes can present it to Parliament.
“We’re really starting to up the ante, we’re not dismissing what we did last year but we’re getting it moving again and adding to it,” she said.
The petition can be found in the Kalamunda and Lesmurdie libraries, Zig Zag Cultural Centre and City administration office.