Harrisdale: residents call for safer pedestrian crossings near shopping centre

Harrisdale residents (left to right) Lawton Ratnam, Andy Sieracki, Jandakot MLA Yaz Mubarakai, Mary Boyes, Maureen Sharpe, Jill Wood, Emilia Mathew (7) and Dolly Mathew want safer pedestrian crossings around Harrisdale Shopping Centre.
Harrisdale residents (left to right) Lawton Ratnam, Andy Sieracki, Jandakot MLA Yaz Mubarakai, Mary Boyes, Maureen Sharpe, Jill Wood, Emilia Mathew (7) and Dolly Mathew want safer pedestrian crossings around Harrisdale Shopping Centre.

THE area around the Harrisdale Shopping Centre needs to be made safer for pedestrians, according to a group of local residents.

Harrisdale resident Andy Sieracki said people crossing from the areas around the Yellowwood Avenue and Lafayette Avenue roundabout were often in danger because motorists, including large delivery trucks, did not slow down or stop to let them pass.

He said the fact students from both Harrisdale Primary School and Harrisdale Senior High School regularly used that strip to get to and from school meant children were also often in danger.

“We frequently use the crossover to go to the shops and have had several near misses and witnessed others,” he said.

“Kids going to school on bikes and scooters rush across the road and seniors are stranded in the middle of the road unable to fully cross the road.”

Mr Sieracki said he and other residents had asked the City of Armadale for help by installing a dedicated zebra crossing or signage instructing motorists to slow down and look for pedestrians, but he says the City has declined to do anything.

“We want a zebra crossing or at the very least warning signs for cars and pedestrians,” he said.

“Motorists need to be made aware of pedestrians crossing the road and slow down or give way.”

Armadale chief executive Ray Tame said while pedestrian safety was always a concern, investigations had shown the intersection’s road design complied with standards and was appropriate for the location.

“The entrance to the shopping centre car park and intersections on Yellowwood Avenue are a short distance apart, with parallel parking on the road which effectively assists in slowing traffic down,” he said.

“Measures alerting motorists to the changing environment along this strip include road surface texture (brick paving) changes, short distances between intersections and existing pedestrian refuge islands to assist pedestrians cross the road safely.

“It is not a matter of cost – the installation of a formal crossing and associated signage at the Lafayette Avenue/Yellowwood Avenue intersection has not been found to be warranted at this time as the existing measures meet current design standards.”

The Harrisdale residents have turned to their local MP for help, with Jandakot MLA Yaz Mubarakai saying members of the community needed to feel safe when they walked or cycled to the shops.

“At the moment drivers are not aware enough that they are entering a zone of high pedestrian and cyclist activity at this intersection and this is causing a safety hazard,” he said.

“I have written a letter asking the City of Armadale to assess traffic and pedestrian movements at the roundabout and reconsider their stance.”