Community group seeks upgrade to crossing

Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch meets with members of Umina Community Group

Umina Community Group is calling for the pedestrian crossing in Mt Ettalong Rd at Etta St to be upgraded.

A petition is being circulating throughout Umina seeking support from residents.

Group secretary Mr Peter Springett said “There is an island in the middle of the road, however, it is small and often congested.”

He said there was no alternative pedestrian access point for Umina South residents in that area to reach the beach, the recreation precinct and Umina Beach Public School.

“This crossing is also used as the main access for Umina South pedestrians and bike riders to go to West St shops,” he said.

“It’s commonly used by adults, children, dog walkers, bike riders, parents with babies in prams and elderly people.

“The speed limit is 60kmh but this is too fast and it is dangerous because cars come along there very quickly.”

Mr Springett said there was car traffic along Mt Ettalong Rd all times of the day, but it was particularly busy during peak times such as school drop off and pick up, weekends and summer holidays.

This road provides the only access to Pearl Beach and Patronga.

“The frequency of the cars means pedestrians have to cross one lane of traffic, stop on the island and wait until the other land of traffic is clear.

“If you have bikes or prams it is particularly dangerous and not everyone can fit in the space.

“Young kids do not have the spatial awareness to realise they are on the island but the back of their bike is still hanging out on the other side of the road.

“The island is nowhere near wide enough, it’s only about the width of an adult pushbike, so imagine a mum with a pram and another child in tow, or a couple of kids with bikes, trying to manage in that space with cars whizzing by on both sides.

“There is only about five metres of footpath on the west side of Mt Ettalong Rd and then it finishes forcing pedestrians to walk on the road.

“Cars turning may not see the pedestrians until too late.”

Mr Springett said the footpath on the other side of Mt Ettalong Rd was appropriate.

“This has been a concern for a while.

“Now that we’ve had some success over fixing another pedestrian safety issue in Melbourne Ave, we have started lobbying Members of Parliament, local councillors and Central Coast Council to make them aware of this dangerous crossing and requesting they urgently do something to improve safety there. 

Members of Umina Community Group met on-site with Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch.

Mr Springett said Cr Chris Holstein and Cr Troy Marquart were unable to attend and the group was looking forward to hearing their feedback.

“Liesl had a few ideas but some of them had a longer timeframe than we’d like.

“We want something quicker than that – some sort of warning lights.

“There is room on both sides of the road to widen it and then the pedestrian island can be made wider,” Mr Springett said.

“It’s early stages, but at least we’ve got people listening,” Mr Springett said.

SOURCE
Media release, 30 May 2020
Interview (Sue Murray), 7 Jul 2020
Peter Springett, Umina Community Group

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