A difficult road for all set to get funding fix

30 Jan 2018 • Border Mail, Albury-Wodonga (General News)
by Shana Morgan

CROSSING the busy Murdoch Road which has been the site of multiple crashes and near misses, is a daunting task for young and old people in Wangaratta. The road leading to a series of schools, childcare centres and community venues has been a priority of a small group of parents called Safe Streets Wangaratta over the past year. The problem will be fixed in three locations by the end of June after the Victorian government announced $117,000 in funding for safer crossing points. VicRoads and Wangaratta Council are currently exploring options to make crossing Murdoch Road safer near the intersections of White, Crisp and Harper streets. Potential options includes a raised platform to alert drivers to the approaching crossing point for pedestrians or island refuges to provide greater protection at the halfway point of the crossing. Safe Streets Wangaratta convener Victoria Mallinder said it had been distressing to see crashes on the road the latest in recent months was a female cyclist hit by a car, but there were thankfully no serious injuries. “I’ve witnessed a number of accidents, we’ve been to a few that have needed police and ambulance,” she said. The Murdoch Road issue was identified as a priority for Wangaratta after the group posed the question on its Facebook page. “It’s anybody – I’ve seen older people walking their dogs struggle to get across, people pushing prams, it’s all members of the community,” Ms Mallinder said. “There’s been a concern for a long time that children find it difficult, particularly in the morning but also the afternoon to cross safely. “There’s no pedestrian refuges, there’s two lanes of 60km/h traffic, there’s nothing along Murdoch Road that slows you down at school times.” The government funding will also construct a new island refuge on Snow Road in Milawa to provide more protection for school children crossing the busy road. Wangaratta Council has contributed $10,000 towards the works. Northern Victoria MP Jaclyn Symes said she was impressed by the group of parents acting on their concerns by presenting ideas to the council and her office. “Rather than waiting for something to happen, they actually got themselves organised . It’s a really strong example of community outcomes,” she said. “We know that pedestrians are our most vulnerable road user, the Murdoch Road corridor is used by many school aged children and these projects will ensure the daily school commute is safer.” Caption Text: TAKING ACTION: Safe Streets Wangaratta convener Victoria Mallinder and Northern Victoria MP Jaclyn Symes at the intersection of Murdoch Road and White Street, close to a primary school. Picture: MARK JESSER
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