Lights fuel Denny drivers’ frustrations

Lights fuel Denny drivers’ frustrations

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Residents took to facebook to vent their frustrations at the Streich Avenue-Denny Avenue traffic lights which were activated on Monday. Photograph — Matt Devlin.

The $800,000 set of traffic lights installed at Denny and Streich avenues in Kelmscott appears to have done little to improve road user confidence of the Denny Avenue level crossing with a public backlash at its design.

The lights, paid for with a grant from the federal black spot program, were activated on Monday and within hours 100s of road users took to local facebook groups to vent their frustrations.

Traffic could be seen banked along Railway Avenue and Albany Highway from the first day during peak times.

One resident felt nervous doing her school pick ups while another created the hashtag #boycottdennyave and said she would no longer use the road because it was too dangerous.

The lights didn’t faze one residents with one man saying it was the driver’s responsibility to pay attention through the intersection.

Seville Grove resident Evamaria Orr went through the intersection on Monday afternoon and recorded a near miss on her dashboard camera between a ute heading eastbound across the new lights and an SUV travelling north along Streich Avenue when one ignored the red light.

Ms Orr uses Denny Avenue regularly and couldn’t believe the design of the level crossing with the additional set of lights.

“I’ve seen quite a few near misses and had quite a few myself there but I think they’ve just made a real mess of it with the lights,” she said.

“Even if people are able to read the traffic it’s just so confusing, you have traffic coming from everywhere and with the rail crossing there you have no where to go.”

Member for Armadale Tony Buti said the intersection was ‘pathetic’. “You didn’t have to be Einstein to know it wasn’t going to work,” he said.

“It’s just clogged up the traffic more.”

Dr Buti again called for the closure of the level crossing and an underpass to be built at Davis Road, which had been identified as the best solution for the area more than a decade ago.

“Obviously this is a matter that is increasingly frustrating locals and causing a lot of problems in the area and there is only one solution that everyone knows about and the sooner it’s done the better,” he said.

Dr Buti said a level crossing could be opened up at Davis Road as an interim measure.
Armadale mayor Henry Zelones said the city had received no complaints about the new lights and they were installed because of complaints about the road prior to their installation.

“There will always be a period of adjustment, but the signals were installed in response to the public demand to improve safety at this crossing point,” he said.

“Traffic did bank up prior to the installation of the signals, which was another complaint centred around this rail crossing.

“During peak hours, the crossing frequently must close and queues are generated.”

Mr Zelones said main roads WA and the public transport authority would monitor the operation of the lights and crossing.

In March City of Armadale acting chief executive Tony Maxwell said apart from the lights nothing more could be done at the level crossing to improve it and most users had adapted their driving routines to accommodate the ‘circumstances and road environment’.

Denny Avenue’s three intersections recorded 151 crashes from 2010 to 2014 – making the 200-metre stretch one of the worst roads per metre in the state.

The state Labor party recently committed to addressing all level crossings including the problematic Denny Avenue level crossing as a part of its metronet plan if elected at the 2017 election.

Main roads were contacted but were unable to respond before deadline.

To make a complaint about the road call the city on 9394 5000 or main roads WA on 138 138.