A zebra crossing is being installed at a pedestrian safety blackspot near the centre of Mullumbimby, following a long-running campaign by a group of local residents.
The residents had long argued that the upcoming reprioritisation of traffic flows at the intersection of Dalley and Tincogan Streets would have made it very difficult to cross Tincogan Street safely.
This was particularly the case for those with mobility or vision challenges, who faced the prospect of being unable to make their way safely into town.
Back in July 2021, Council staff had promised to build a zebra crossing at the blackspot in response to the safety issues.
However, when the reprioritisation project came back before Council last month, the zebra crossing was not included in the plans.
It is understood that the reason for this was concerns that motorists would not be expecting the crossing, and so might not stop in time, thus putting pedestrians at even greater risk than doing nothing.
However, this response drew an outraged response from those campaigning in favour of the crossing.
Former Byron Councillor and Chair of the Local Traffic Committee, Basil Cameron, said, ‘The suggestion that a pedestrian crossing is “unsafe” as drivers may not expect to see pedestrians in that location is laughable for anyone familiar with pedestrians regularly walking on the road owing to the deplorable state of pedestrian pathways’.
‘If drivers are so unaware, it surely demonstrates that a pedestrian crossing is urgently needed.’
It appears the Council heeded the call from Mr Cameron and his fellow safety campaigners.
When the matter came before last week ‘s Council meeting, councillors voted to install the zebra crossing, and this was subsequently endorsed by the Local Traffic Committee at an extra meeting on November 30.
‘We were surprised we had to fight so hard for the past three weeks to make this happen – again,’ said local resident and safety campaigner, Linda Meades.
‘We thought it was all settled back in August 2021.
‘In the end, with the support and expertise of former councillor Basil Cameron and Council engineer, Judd Cornwall, we are all happy.’
The reprioritisation and the addition of the zebra crossing are expected to be in place within the next three weeks.
Byron Shire Mayor, Michael Lyon, who is Chair of the Local Traffic Committee, said he was happy Council ‘got to the right decision on the pedestrian crossing in the end’.
‘I’m glad all safety aspects were worked through properly and that we have a solution that accommodates people’s needs better – including members of our community living with vision impairment,’ he said.