Yankalilla Pedestrian Refuge community feedback comes back to council

Councillor Simon Rothwell believes the pedestrian refuge in Yankalilla has the potential to save lives.
Councillor Simon Rothwell believes the pedestrian refuge in Yankalilla has the potential to save lives.

The District Council of Yankalilla is moving forward to protect pedestrians in its community.

The council will write to the Department for Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) indicating its support for the installation of a pedestrian refuge at Main South Road in front of Yankalilla Foodland after community feedback on the issue.

DIT will be provided with all community feedback responses.

In October council resolved expedite the community consultation process on the Yankalilla refuge/crossing.

In 2015 a petition was presented to the Minister for Road Safety calling for the "Installation of pedestrian lights" in Yankalilla.

Following a pedestrian and vehicle survey DIT provided council with a Concept Plan for the installation of a pedestrian refuge in 2019. The survey indicated high pedestrian activity, however there wasn't enough traffic to warrant a Pedestrian Actuated Crossing (PAC) (pedestrian lights), consequently, the department would not nominate a PAC for funding and even if nominated would certainly be a lower priority than many other sites across the state.

As an alternative option and to improve pedestrian safety, a refuge was also investigated. It was found that a refuge will deliver improved safety outcomes and will not affect street parking as much a PAC would, therefore less impact on businesses.

There is currently no funding for any work at this location.

Originally it was intended to meet with businesses and undertake consultation in March/April 2020 however, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic delayed this process.

Council officers met face-to-face with business operators located on Main South Road Yankalilla (between Main Street and the Chemist), sent letters to property owners in the same locality and opened a Your Say Yankalilla item, to receive input from the wider community.

Council's Team Leader Community Services arranged a telephone survey of people who are older, have a disability, are carers or work for National Disability Insurance Scheme, to be undertaken.

Consultation ran for four weeks from November 13, 2020 to December 13, 2020.

The consultation sought feedback on the concept developed by DIT.

The Your Say Yankalilla survey had 71 responses, 15 hard copy responses (with survey results not input into Your Say Yankalilla) were received and 22 telephone feedback responses were received.

The results of the Your Say Yankalilla survey indicate a similar level of agreement/support for a solution in the location to assist people crossing the road and for the refuge concept proposed.

Comments from the survey included - Preference for a pedestrian crossing, like the one in Normanville; The Refuge proposed is in the wrong location; Overpass / Underpass / Bypass should be provided instead; Any pedestrian facility at this location is a waste of money; There is majority support for the installation of the refuge as proposed by DIT.

Council has previously investigated and designed the installation of a new stormwater drain in Main South Road to collect excess surface water that runs down Bungala Street. The location of the drain would impact on the refuge proposed.

The installation of the drain should be undertaken prior to the installation of the refuge. Council staff will be nominating this drainage project as part of the considerations for the 2021/22 Annual Business Plan and Budget.

Councillor Bill Verwey said the results of the community feedback indicated majority support for the DIT concept plan for a pedestrian refuge.

"It is long overdue," he said.

Councillor David Olsson said there was a clear view from the consultation that "this will assist people crossing the road".

Councillor Simon Rothwell said "if it saved one person's life, it was worth the spend".

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