At Tuesday's Council meeting Susan Pryke of Narooma presented photos and a plee during the Public Forum session that Council might add to their footpath strategy consideration of a pedestrian refuge/island on the Princes Highway at the southern end of Narooma to enable those who live on the Western side safer access to the town's existing footpath network located on the Eastern side of the highway. Mrs Pryke's presentation follows:
Good morning Mayor Innes, councillors and staff. My name is Susan Pryke, and I live at Old Highway Narooma. I understand the Pathway Strategy, which I am delegating you about today, is likely to be deferred to give more people a chance to speak. A copy of this presentation, which I sent to staff, includes photos which explain even better than my words what my concern is. I hope you all have it and if not I can send it to everyone via email.
First, I would like to congratulate Council on a very comprehensive Pathway Strategy. The plans outlined for Narooma are excellent, with the exception of one thing: there is no mention of safe ways for pedestrians to cross the Princes Highway in South Narooma.
Those of us who live on the west side of the Princes Highway, south of Narooma Plaza,
have to cross the Princes Highway to access the footpath, which is located on the east side. Finding a safe place to do so is difficult as sightlines are terrible and traffic is heavy, especially during summer months.
I include in my comments those who live adjacent the highway; tourists at the Farnboro Motel; and residents living on Gem Cres, Cole Cres, Old South Coast Rd, Dorothy Dr, Gareth Ave and Old Highway.
Included in the Pathway Strategy is a footpath along the service road from Old Highway to opposite Glasshouse Rocks Road. Without a pedestrian refuge on the highway at that point, however, the footpath will be of no use.
Students who cross Princes Highway at Old Highway to get to the footpath that leads to Narooma High School are in the most serious situation of all. The Pathway Strategy includes a footpath along Old Highway, which is great. But there is no mention of a need for a pedestrian refuge to help students get across the Princes Highway. It is a terrible crossing that puts lives at risk. If you are crossing from the east side to the west side of the Princes Highway in this location, there is NO VISIBILITY at all. You have to actually take a few steps onto the highway and look north to see if there is any traffic coming. This is because of the curve in the road and the embankment which block the view of the traffic.
This is a horrific situation, and something needs to be done to make it safer. Before passing the Pathway Strategy, I think every councillor should try crossing the Princes Highway in both directions as the students do at the Old Highway intersection. Words really can’t describe how dangerous it is. Yet kids are crossing there every school day. Tony Fahey, the principal of Narooma High School, is aware of this situation and is prepared to send a letter of support.
I often call our section of Narooma the ‘forgotten part of town’ where pedestrian access is concerned. I expect people think anyone who lives here must always travel by car. But that is simply not the case. The footpaths that council has planned will make it better, but only if Roads and Maritime Services provides safe crossings of Princes Highway at the same time.
I would ask that your Pathway Strategy appendix indicate that Council continue to advocate to the Roads and Maritime Services to provide suitable pedestrian refuges at the Princes Highway/Glasshouse Rocks Road and Princes Highway/Old Highway.