An accident waiting to happen


Orchid Park resident Steve Roney at the intersection.
Orchid Park resident Steve Roney at the intersection.

Residents of housing estate Orchid Park are disappointed Main Roads will not install traffic lights at the intersection of Orchid Avenue, Bridgeman Drive and Beechboro Road, despite a City of Swan-commissioned report that recommended the move. The roundabout is the sole exit for residents of the 315-house estate.

Orchid Park resident Steve Roney, who started a petition in 2014 signed by the majority of residents, said leaving Orchid Park was like playing “Russian roulette” at peak times, often dodging trucks and waiting up to half an hour at times to leave.

“The roundabout cannot handle the flow of traffic, it’s just ridiculous,” he said. “It’s gotten to the point where we’re looking at packing up and getting out.”

He said his eldest daughter Tessie (15) twice missed the bus that stopped on Beechboro Road due to her inability to cross the busy road and was subsequently “written up” at school.

Mr Roney said the intersection was originally a T-junction and its construction into a roundabout a few years ago temporarily eased congestion problems.

“The roundabout was good at the time but since then, Main Roads has tapped into Hillarys, so you’ve got Hepburn Avenue coming through; it’s bumper-to-bumper,” he said.

“As the survey states, signals are the best way of going about it, it gives us the chance to get out, it gives children the chance to press the button and walk safely across the road to the bus.”

West Swan MLA Rita Saffioti said she called on Main Roads to install traffic lights.

“Families in Orchid Park have no other option than to wait long periods of time to contend with an unsafe intersection each and every morning,” she said. “The issue must be resolved before someone is seriously injured.”

However, a Main Roads spokeswoman said signals would have a “detrimental effect” on the traffic flow on Beechboro Road for the majority of the day.

She said there had been no fatalities and only six crashes recorded at the intersection in five years to the end of 2014.

“An assessment indicated that the performance of the intersection is substantially better in the existing roundabout form than a signalised form,” she said.