Two elderly residents of Avondale Home at Cooranbong believe the crossing of Freemans Drive is a “death trap.”
Dawn Ginn and Wanda Hermes have both lived in the aged care units opposite the Cooranbong shopping centre for the past 12 months. The elderly ladies, and many others, cross the road daily to visit the shops for a coffee, buy a paper or just to wander around the village for company.
When LakeMac Today visited Cooranbong recently the two women were spotted on the eastern side of the roadway waiting for the moment between motor vehicles to make a dash to the safety of the refuge island. Then they waited another minute or so before making it across to the western side to the shopping centre.
“That crossing is very dangerous,” said Dawn. “It is a disgrace to the council and somebody could easily be killed. Why doesn’t council have traffic lights or, at least, a pedestrian crossing.”
It was 2pm when our LakeMac Today roving reporter decided to time the intervals between traffic movements. In a period of five minutes the motor vehicles, of all shapes and sizes, were passing at an average of 15 second intervals. That included the traffic turning right from Avondale Road onto Freemans Drive, making the crossing even more difficult for pedestrians of any age. We must add that was a five minute interval on a particular day. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the traffic flow is always that heavy.
We contacted a Lake Macquarie City Council spokesperson who explained that there are plans to construct lights at the intersection under a council voluntary planning agreement with a land developer.
“Traffic lights, including a signalised crossing, are proposed for the intersection of Alton Road and Freemans Drive at Cooranbong under a voluntary planning agreement between Council and Johnson Property Group, the developer of the 2500-lot Watagan Park residential estate.
“While the delivery time frames relate to the progression of the development, Council is hopeful that the intersection upgrade can be provided in the next few years.
“We are currently negotiating with the developer around the delivery time frames. Once the negotiations are finalised, Council will consider if any interim works are required,” the spokesperson said.