Denny Ave is a festering road sore

Denny Ave is a festering road sore

Camillo residents Laura Shockthorap, Wendy Muilenburg, Barbara Whitnell with Scott Muilenburg, Patrick Shockthorap and Krystal Pinnell at the intersection. Photograph — Matt Devlin.
Camillo residents Laura Shockthorap, Wendy Muilenburg, Barbara Whitnell with Scott Muilenburg, Patrick Shockthorap and Krystal Pinnell at the intersection. Photograph — Matt Devlin.

Almost two decades of congestion problems and pedestrian incidents around Denny Avenue level crossing in Kelmscott were set to continue with the government departments responsible seemingly abandoning plans for a permanent solution.

Last week a Camillo resident started an online petition encouraging the City of Armadale and state government to find a solution to the traffic issues.

Within 24 hours it had already received more than 100 signatures and currently has 215 signatures.

The City of Armadale recently received funding for a set of traffic lights on the Streich Avenue side of the level crossing, which would be working by December.

The closure of the Denny Avenue level crossing and construction of an underpass at nearby Davis Road was recommended as the best solution since 2002.

This solution would see Davis Road connect to Third Avenue under the railway line, which would remove the need for a rail crossing.

The underpass was first suggested in a Department for Planning and Infrastructure Kelmscott enquiry by design workshop in 2002.

The former Armadale redevelopment authority (ARA) extended the scope of its Kelmscott town centre plans to include the underpass in 2005 and the state government purchased private land to progress the project.

Traffic studies were completed and a community reference group began meeting in 2008 and 2009 to progress the underpass at a cost of $55 million but since then the project had stalled.

The ARA’s successor, the metropolitan redevelopment authority (MRA), still has the underpass in its concept plans for the Kelmscott town centre.

The MRA did not answer questions about who was dragging their feet or why nothing had happened in recent years.

Chief executive Kieran Kinsella said the current traffic and transport challenges were being considered as part of planning in the area in consultation with the City of Armadale, main roads WA and the public transport authority.

City of Armadale chief executive Ray Tame said the underpass was one project that the ARA was unable to deliver over its 10-year lifetime.

“In the short term, however, the city managed to secure funding for the installation of traffic signals at the Streich Avenue/Denny Avenue intersection,” he said.

“This will coordinate the traffic signals located at this location with the other signals…to ensure all traffic movements are coordinated and that maximum efficiency of the available road capacity is achieved.”

Member for Armadale Tony Buti had raised the Denny Avenue issues in parliament several times and said he had invited the transport minster out to the intersection without luck.

“Denny Avenue clogging up has been a festering sore on the locals that have suffered for so long,” he said.

Former planning minister and member for Armadale Alannah MacTiernan said the project was one on the former state government’s list.

“We had certainly invested money in planning it and doing the traffic studies we hadn’t at that point allocated the budget to it,” she said.

Online petition organiser and Camillo resident Laura Shockthorap saw at least one accident a week on the avenue.

“I was driving past there last week and I saw there was two high school kids sitting on the ground being attended to by ambos and I thought I don’t have a lot of time and an online petition isn’t too hard to start,” she said.

“They have to do something to remove risk for pedestrians.”

Main roads was contacted but did not respond before deadline.

Minister for Transport Dean Nalder was asked whether he would visit the level crossing but did not respond before deadline.

No one contacted by the Examiner answered questions about when the matter was last discussed, when a solution would be found or if the problem had been put in the too hard basket.