New speed bumps to combat rat running

There are new speed bumps in Brookdale Avenue, Pinelands, to counter speeding rat runners trying to beat peak-hour congestion at the suburb’s entry and exit points on Forest Drive.

During a site visit to Pinelands last week, ward councillor Brian Watkyns showed the Tatler several areas, including Brookdale Avenue, where new traffic measures had been introduced.

“We get requests for new traffic measures all the time, but obviously there are budget constraints and a process that needs to be followed. I try to work on a rotation basis, addressing the needs of each area of my ward each year,” he said.

A small traffic circle has also been introduced in Central Avenue, while the intersection on Victory Avenue was raised because of a nearby school. CCTV cameras at the suburb’s entry and exit points monitor traffic and crime.

Pinelands resident and head of the Road Safety Action Campaign, Richard Benson, welcomed the latest safety measure, saying they would prove “extremely effective” against speeding.

“People have been speeding on side streets and rat runs for a while now. Speeding threatens the lives of children and small animals in the area. Speeding is the number-one killer on our roads, so all measures are very welcome,” Mr Benson said.

But he’s still worried about motorists not obeying the stop signs on either side of Pinelands’ main shopping hub, Howard Centre.

“These stop signs are simply being ignored. My belief is that either the stop signs should be changed to yield signs, or the law should be better enforced. One of the great problems we have in this country is that there are not enough traffic officers on our roads. Statistics show that there are about 21 000 traffic officers to some 11.5 million motorists. This is unacceptable. There should be at least 120 000 traffic officers on our roads.”

* In Maitland Garden Village, Mr Watkyns’s constituency, a new fence now rings the small community’s central soccer field. Other recent improvements to the area include an upgrade to Maitland Village Primary School.

On Youth Day, June 16, Beatty Avenue residents, helped by the Maitland Village Residents’ Association and the City, held a clean-up. “The aim was to teach youth the importance of a clean environment and after the hard work, all the volunteers joined in the food and fun in Perseverance Park,” Mr Watkyns said.