ERWIN CHLANDA reports
PHOTOS (from top):
• The Federal Government, under its Black Spot road safety program, spent $300,000 on the construction of a pedestrian crossing just south of The Gap, opposite the turn-off to the causeway leading to the Palm Circuit.
The NT Government then reduced the permitted speed in the vicinity of the crossing from 80 km/h to 70 km/h.
The crossing, with a safety area half-way, is mostly for the benefit of Aboriginal people in the Little Sisters town camp, on the western side of the highway and the railway line.
The crossing gives access to the footpath on the eastern side of the highway, leading to the main part of the town, as well as to a store and two bottle shops on the other side of the Todd River.
The crossing will probably be an obstacle to the traffic flow, or for changes to the road that may be required, when the Kilgariff suburb generates more vehicle movements.
• The crossing also leads across the railway line and is complete with yellow knobbles inhibiting the use of skateboards.
• The facility was clearly built because there have been many pedestrians injured or killed in that “spot”.
• Its obvious advantages notwithstanding, some pedestrians by-pass the crossing and traverse the highway, and the railway line, about 50 metres to the south.
• A fence panel has been removed, and the well-trodden track suggests this route is being used a lot, in preference to the much safer one, just a stone’s throw away.
• A man walks across the highway just meters from where a roadside cairn marks the scene of a fatal accident.
UPDATE May 8, 4:40pm
The fence panel was replaced today.