Community & Business

15 July, 2023

Crossing confusion continues

MAREEBA’S wombat crossings continue to cause debate in the community, with many saying they are still causing confusion for both drivers and pedestrians in Byrnes Street despite being installed two years ago.

Crossing confusion continues - feature photo

A Facebook post drew numerous comments from locals as to the purpose of the crossings given there is nowhere for pedestrians to cross Byrnes Street lawfully, except at traffic signals at the top of the street or at the Post Office.

The crossings were installed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads to slow drivers down but motorists, particularly those from out of town, can often be seen stopping for pedestrians waiting at the edge of the crossings.

Sometimes, the pedestrian will wave the driver on but other times, they start to cross to find a vehicle in the other lane is not stopping, causing near misses.

“The main roads/and council should be ashamed of themselves to even have wombat crossings on the Main Street, no consideration has been given for the elderly that live in Mareeba and no common sense has been shown to the motorists,” Sue Martel wrote. “What has happened to the rule that all pedestrians should have right of way?

Some people wait, some walk expecting for cars to stop and some cars go straight through when others stop and show some curiosity! What a mess!”

“I deliberately cross away from these hazardous crossings. Too many visiting motorists don’t have a clue, what with cars reversing out onto them, impatient locals sitting on their tails and unsure pedestrians ready to dash out anyway,” another person wrote.

“I still think they should of actually made them into pedestrian crossings, they’d tak- ing away the main one that kids and adults used every day near IGA, so now people are racing traffic to try cross the road which then leads to cars stopping for them to try cross safely and causing more accidents,” Kitty Marie commented.

Mareeba Deputy Mayor Cr Kevin Davies, who sits on council’s Traffic Advisory Committee, said it was his under- standing that Main Roads would not be doing any further works to the crossings or making it clearer that motorists do not have to give way to pedestrians at the crossings.

“What Main Roads may do in the future is to make Byrnes Street one lane so it will be safer for pedestrians and to reverse out from car parks – the road is theirs so it’s their call,” Cr Davies said.


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