PEDESTRIAN Council of Australia chair Harold Scruby has labelled the removal of the City’s pedestrian crossings as “an absolute disgrace”.
“This is one of the worst decisions I have heard of in my 16 years on the pedestrian council,” Mr Scruby said on Wednesday.
“This sort of decision sets us back 50 years. I will be referring this back to the centre for road safety. It’s against the ethos of pedestrian safety.”
In light of community feedback, Council’s general manager Warwick Bennett has scheduled a workshop with Councillors to be held on Monday.
“We’ve had a reasonable amount of feedback… enough for us to listen carefully to what has been said,” Mr Bennett told the Post.
“I’ll be asking council at a workshop on Monday to review that decision.”
One of the options, he said, would be the reversal of the decision.
Crossings on Bourke St, Verner St and Union St were removed last Thursday following a recommendation of Goulburn Mulwaree Council’s Traffic Committee.
Members considered the zebra crossings to be dangerous as motorists often didn’t stop.
The recommendation was also based on Roads and Maritime Service research which advised pedestrian refuges and kerb extensions were safer than pedestrian crossings.
“What happens to a mother or father with a pram when they have to wait in the middle of the roads for trucks to pass?” Mr Scruby questioned.
“Who did this Council consult when they made this decision? It’s not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’ an innocent pedestrian is hurt or killed, will those responsible be brought to account for putting pedestrians in such a dangerous position?”
He called upon Goulburn Mulwaree Councillors to put forward a rescission motion and reverse the decision.
Mr Scruby isn’t the only one disgruntled by the move.
Social media users from across Goulburn weighed in on the Goulburn Mulwaree Council Facebook page.
“Is this some sort of joke!? I see elderly people use these crossing all the time. I can’t wait until I’m 80 years old and have to pick a gap between cars to get across the road! Just love paying rates for this!” Facebook user Paul Parlett said.
In a letter published today, Country Labor Candidate for Goulburn Ursula Stephens said she was overwhelmed by constituents concerned about the issue.
She drew focus to inadequate consultation on the traffic committee’s behalf and out-of-date statistics and, like Mr Scruby, called for a rethink.
“It is very unclear to me how a Committee comprised of people who aren’t local (a departmental rep, a representative of the local MP) and council officers could make such a ridiculous recommendation on behalf of the people of Goulburn without adequate consultation,” Dr Stephens wrote.
“It’s time for a rethink, Goulburn Mulwaree Council ...