A woman from Picnic Point has been charged following a fatal pedestrian crash at an Ashfield intersection in the Inner West earlier this month. The 48-year-old driver who struck the elderly man was charged with dangerous driving occasioning death and is due to appear before Burwood Local Court on Tuesday 24th of May.
In response to the tragedy, a community meeting was held last Saturday to address safety concerns at the John and Frederick Street intersection. The meeting was attended by State Members for Summer Hill and Strathfield Jo Haylen and Jason Yat-Sen Li, respectively, and Inner West councillors Mark Drury, Dylan Griffiths, Philippa Scott and Darcy Byrne.
Ms Haylen told City Hub that the recent death was “just the latest in a series of safety issues that go back for 30 years”.
“We need prompt action from the government,” Ms Haylen said, and suggested that measures to improve safety could include “traffic lights and lowering the speed limit on Frederick Street”.
Member for Summer Hill Jo Haylen. Photo: Parliament of NSW.
Ms Haylen spoke with Burwood Police Area Commander Sean Ryan about the pedestrian death and said that she will continue to work with police regarding issues at the Ashfield intersection.
Additionally, Ms Haylen addressed NSW parliament on the 24th of March about the “delays in processing traffic controls across NSW”. She called upon Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport Rob Stokes to address the urgency of the situation.
Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that the safety of the intersection was discussed in “great detail”, and added that “mitigation measures” had been documented by Transport for NSW staff following an onsite investigation.
Transport for NSW ‘receptive to changes’ for Ashfield intersection: council
According to a social media post by Inner West councillor Philippa Scott, mitigation measures are going to be lobbied by councillors through the council’s traffic committee.
When asked by City Hub about the progress of new safety measures on the intersection, an Inner West Council spokesperson said that Transport for NSW had been “receptive to changes suggested by council officers” and that they are undertaking their own review on the state road.
Council officers have said that installing traffic lights at the intersection would be the “most appropriate solution” to address road safety concerns, with interim mitigation measures, including upgrading the existing pedestrian crossing signposting at the intersection and improvements to advance warning signage, also being suggested.
The ‘black spot’ of the Inner West
The John and Frederick Street pedestrian crossing has come to the attention of many concerned residents, and the dangers of the intersection have been the subject of outrage following the recent tragedy.
Max Phillips, a local who started an online petition to install traffic lights at the pedestrian crossing, said that the intersection is “notoriously unsafe” and considers it “one of the most dangerous in Sydney”.
“I was surprised at how many people turned up,” Mr Phillips, who attended the public meeting, said.
“Clearly our representatives and the police are taking the issue seriously, and I think they all understood how much community concern there was for this to be fixed.”
Mr Phillips added that many residents recognised traffic lights as the “ultimate solution” and said that they wanted to avoid any “cosmetic” fixes to the intersection.
The online petition has steadily been gaining steady support and has now reached over 1500 signatures.