Outrage at plans to scrap zebra crossing

The Manly Daily

Friday 9 November 2002

HUNDREDS of residents have opposed a plan to replace a zebra crossing with a refuge at Palm Beach.

The Roads and Traffic Authority plans to replace the zebra crossing on Barrenjoey Rd, opposite the Palm Beach wharf, with pedestrian refuges and to change parking arrangements in Barrenjoey Rd.

In a letter to residents, the RTA said the changes would "improve pedestrian safety and public transport operations".

But Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman Harold Scruby said the planned changes were "a disgrace".

"Refuges are a joke - they give pedestrians no legal right of way whatsoever," he said.

"The god car has right of way at a refuge and pedestrians must wait. Yet the pedestrian has absolute right of way at a pedestrian crossing.

"That there is only one pedestrian crossing in the entire Palm Beach shopping strip is utterly unacceptable, let alone no pedestrian crossing controlled by lights."

An RTA spokeswoman said the proposal followed comments by locals about road safety in the area.

"A pedestrian refuge island is an alternative form of crossing, which can allow pedestrians to cross a road in two stages," she said.

"The onus is always on pedestrians to exercise care and control when crossing the road."

She said the proposal would be "re-assessed and possibly modified" in light of public comments.