Dubbo Regional Council is pushing for traffic lights to be installed on Windsor Parade, despite objections from the Roads and Maritime Services.
There have been renewed calls for a safer crossing between Orana Gardens Retirement Village and Orana Mall. The RMS has not given support to the traffic signals because their studies have shown an insufficient number of pedestrians using the crossing.
However, councillor Greg Mohr said there would be nothing more devastating than for someone to be killed in a car crash.
“It’s not about money, it’s about safety, it’s about saving lives,” he said.
“The RMS aren’t paying for it. It hasn’t been an issue for council. $150,000 for lights is not a big expense. $150,000 compared to saving lives, you add it up.”
Orana Gardens resident Fran Kelly said the safety measures – such as the speed bumps – which were currently in place may have been effective 20 years ago, but they were no longer sufficient.
“Many of our residents can attest to either personally experiencing or witnessing many near misses or close calls while attempting to use the crossing. This risk factor has increased significantly with the development of Orana Mall and the increase in traffic,” Ms Kelly said.
Colin Selwood, who lives at Orana Gardens with his wife, said the majority of residents were above 70-years-old with some aged in their 90s.
“We would like to think our personal safety on streets and crossings is of major concern to council and council would take all necessary steps to make sure our fears and concerns are allayed,” Mr Selwood said.
Cr Mohr said traffic lights were needed to make vehicles stop on Windsor Parade. Residents should not have to “run the gauntlet” across the road, he said.
“The residents won’t drive their own car because they’re too scared. They have a bus that runs from Orana Gardens for the simple fact they can be dropped at the door because they don’t want to walk. That’s not captured in our statistics,” he said.
With backing from council and the Dubbo police, Cr Mohr said he was confident RMS would make an exception on the road and give support to the traffic signals.