Staff fears over Douro death

Flowers were placed on the traffic light at the corner of Douro Road and Hampton Road after an 81-year-old man was killed this week. Photo by Belinda Charman.

STAFF from the South Fremantle Market Place have renewed calls for Hampton Road to be made safer after a second death at the corner of Douro Road this week.

On Tuesday morning an 81-year-old man was hit by an Isuzu truck while trying to cross Douro Road at around 8.50am, and despite the efforts of paramedics he died at the scene.

Notre Dame student Gabriella Gavranich was driving to uni when she saw the aftermath of the accident.

“It’s an extremely dangerous turn so I immediately assumed someone had been hit,” Ms Gavranich said.

“Then I saw a whole bunch of paramedics gathered around someone. 

“There were flashing lights everywhere.  

“Between the police and ambos, there would have been about 10 emergency vehicles.”

Seven years ago Hamilton Hill woman Angela Jayne Meredith was killed at the same corner when her scooter was hit by a cement truck, though at the time Main Roads denied road layout played a part in her death.  

Then-Greens MLC Lyn MacLaren was asked to look into the corner following the crash which killed Ms Meredith.  

“To my knowledge nothing has been done about the safety of the intersection since then,” Ms MacLaren said. 

“It is very tragic when any pedestrian dies and if it is an unsafe intersection surely something needs to be done urgently.”

Since the 2015 accident, the design of the road has repeatedly come into question, particularly where Hampton’s bus lane ends and splits into two lanes at the Douro Road intersection.

The result is cars jostling to get into the correct lane as they continue up Cockburn Road or turn onto Rockingham Road.

While the cars are speeding up and switching lanes, staff from the South Fremantle Market Place are forced to cross four lanes of traffic without a designated crossing. It’s a nerve-wracking crossing for customers and people using the bus stop just up the road as well.

Laragh O’Reilly works at centre and says staff have to use a car park on the opposite side of the road. 

“Everyone goes speeding along there, it’s pretty hectic all the time,” she said. 

“Sometimes I just have to risk it to get across.”

Other staff through the centre confirmed they had to park across the road and struggle to get across safely.

In response to a child getting hit by a car a couple of blocks north of Tuesday’s accident, Fremantle mayor Hannah Fitzhardinge said the council would look into how to make Hampton Road safer, which could include getting rid of the bus lane. 

Traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, which fall under the jurisdiction of Main Roads.

Main Roads said it last reviewed signal timings at the intersection in May this year and they provide “ample time for pedestrians to cross safely”.

The department said each crossing at the intersection had a standard six-second green walk symbol, following by an 18 and 20-second flashing red symbol.

“There is also a five-second ‘leading pedestrian interval’ for pedestrians to establish themselves on the crossing before a green light is provided to turning vehicles,” a spokesperson said.

by BELINDA CHARMAN

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