MCCRAE residents are calling for urgent road safety improvements in the main township area, following the death of a pedestrian in Catherine Street last month.
The woman, 76, was hit by a car as she walked along the street on 30 December and died that night in hospital.
A petition has been started, and around 50 residents attended a public meeting at McCrae on Friday (21 January) to discuss traffic management ideas, including the designation of a McCrae local precinct, and reducing speed limits to stop drivers using local roads as a rat run.
One of the organisers, Robyn Galloway, said residents were disappointed that an invitation to attend had been ignored by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council officers, and that the timing of the meeting over the holidays meant other invitees were also absent, including Nepean MP Chris Bayne, who sent his assistant, and the three Seawinds Ward councillors.
“We had a reply from Cr Antonella Celi that we had her support but that she couldn’t attend, but we have had noting from the shire,” Ms Galloway said. “However, we had lots of ideas thrown around at the meeting, so it was still successful.
“Everyone agreed that the issue is that the once-quiet streets have become thoroughfares.”
Ms Galloway said her friend’s death in December might have been avoided with better traffic management in the area.
“Our friend and neighbour, just one house from her own, was hit by a car in Catherine Street … she was walking to her home but due to street vegetation, was forced to walk in the gutter,” she said.
“With the increase of through traffic accessing the local streets from Nepean Highway to avoid traffic lights and many more holiday pedestrians, residents believe that the streets in this area of McCrae have become unsafe.”
Another of the petition organisers, Anne-Maree Townsend, said the uneven and undulating surface of one side of Catherine Street meant pedestrians with walking aids, people pushing prams and pushers or shopping buggies, and children, were “all at risk” by having to walk on the road.
Ms Galloway said designating the areas as a precinct would accord McRae the same traffic management as that of Dromana and Rosebud.
Residents are also asking for speed limits to be reduced to 40kph “at entry of all streets leading from Nepean Highway”, stop signs to replace some give-way signs, vegetation reduction to improve driver visibility, parking limited to one side of Catherine Street, and speed humps considered for some streets.
The shire’s strategic and infrastructure planning manager Katanya Barlow said was still waiting on confirmation from Victoria Police as to the cause of last year’s crash and “whether road conditions were a factor”.
“In the meantime, we are assessing whether any further vegetation maintenance is required, and will also undertake traffic surveys to confirm the level and speed of traffic using local streets in the area,” Ms Barlow said.
“We will then consider if further traffic management assessments ar warranted for this area.
“The road safety initiatives mentioned in Dromana and Rosebud are part of the state government’s Safe System Road Infrastructure Program, recognising these areas are among the shire’s highest crash risk residential areas.”
First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 8 February 2022