Kids' safety risk

The issue of safe crossing measures at Warwick State High School continues, with the council and the school favouring different solutions.
The issue of safe crossing measures at Warwick State High School continues, with the council and the school favouring different solutions. Debrah Novak

PARENTS are entering danger zones each afternoon while simply trying to collect their children from school.

Two Warwick primary schools and a high school are calling for change over concerns their children's safety is at stake.

St Mary's lower campus P&F is seeking for Acacia Ave to be made a one-way street and sections of Percy St declared a 40kmh zone.

During an engineering services meeting this week, Councillor Jo McNally said the extremely narrow street was congested at school pick-up times and was plagued with "many near misses".

"If there happens to be a funeral (at St Mary's Church) at the same time as school finishes, it's just chaos," she said.

Cr McNally said there was no school zone in Percy St, despite it being a busy area, which neighboured daycare centres, two schools and an after-school care facility.

The concerns echo those at Warwick West State School, where the daily traffic congestion at Hudson St was causing concern. There has also been an application to make it a one-way street.

A report on the traffic situation at St Mary's is being prepared and will be presented to Southern Downs councillors in the near future.

The issue of safe crossing measures at Warwick State High School continues, with the council and the school favouring different solutions.

Safety concerns about students crossing on the busy Palmerin St side of the campus have sparked debate on how to solve the problem.

During a council meeting this week, engineering services director Peter See said he was in favour of implementing a system similar to that in the CBD.

"The high school's preference is a crossing and mine is a shared zone," Mr See said.

"Although the law (on shared zones) is somewhat confusing, the proof is in the pudding and it works quite well (further up) Palmerin St."

Councillor Jo McNally said she didn't believe there was a quick fix to the problem.

"It is going to be a difficult one to resolve," Cr McNally said. "(The shared zone) works in the main street because there is a garden bed in the middle of the road which people use when crossing."

Warwick State High School P&C president Mark Wheeldon said he had some reservations about a shared zone being implemented.

He said the proposed solution would also require somewhere to allow the students to cross safely.

"I'm still not convinced it's the best alternative because there would have to be some sort of construction and a designated crossing point, whether it's a shared crossing or zebra crossing," he said.

Mr Wheeldon said he had spoken with the council about the issue about six weeks ago and was awaiting further news.

"We discussed various options that may be available but there is nothing concrete at this stage," he said.

"We are hoping to work with the council, businesses and the community to come up with a solution and make it work for everyone."

There has also been talk of the school fencing its boundaries, except for the Palmerin St side, however Mr Wheeldon declined to comment on the issue until further information was made available to him.

Solutions

  •  School zones are usually 40kmh, while shared zones can be as low as 10kmh
  •  Installing a crossing in the area would mean up to 13 car parks would be lost

Topics:  crossing, school, warwick state high school



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