Group rejoices at road safety progress

08 Jun 2018 Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General News) by Simone Kerwin LOCAL campaigners for road safety works are rejoicing at the installation of pedestrian refuge islands in Murdoch Road. Safe Streets Wangaratta member Jacqui Smith said it was a really wonderful feeling to see months of lobbying and community consultation come to fruition. Two refuge islands have been constructed in Murdoch Road, at the intersection of White Street, and at the intersection of Vernon and Vincent Roads, with another being built on the Snow Road in Milawa, at the intersection with Milawa-Bobinawarrah Road. The projects received $107,000 in State Government funding, along with $10,000 from council. Rural city director infrastructure services Alan Clark said community groups and schools had been pushing for the works for some time. Ms Smith said the group had received positive feedback from Murdoch Road users since works were completed in the area. Weve seen more kids riding to school, some who were not allowed to ride before because there was no safe place to cross, she said. The Goodstart childcare centre thanked us for our work, because it gives the kids a place to cross when they go on excursions. Its been a really wonderful feeling to see this infrastructure being used. Its a decent size, so there is no overhang from bikes, and it has slowed traffic without having to reduce speed zones, especially having two in Murdoch Road, which makes drivers acutely aware when they go past one of them that people are about. Its a much easier situation for cyclists and pedestrians to negotiate. Ms Smith said the group would now focus on its other objective improving pedestrian safety conditions in Wangarattas centre. We set out to achieve two things based on feedback works in Murdoch Road, and in the CBD so we will be reconsidering our options in regard to the CBD, and going back to the community, she said. This has really spurred us on to keep going. Ms Smith said council and VicRoads had been wonderful, really collaborative and kept us informed. And this wouldnt have been possible without the support of Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) in listening to us, she said.