Maroondah Highway - Heatherdale Road - Dampier Gr Intersections

Ms RYALL — The matter I raise is for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety. The action I seek is for an urgent review of the intersection of Maroondah Highway, Heatherdale Road and Dampier Grove on the border of Mitcham and Ringwood to ensure the following: increased pedestrian crossing time from north to south across Maroondah Highway, as currently there is insufficient time to complete the crossing in the time allowed; red and green turning arrows for cars exiting Heatherdale Road and turning right onto Maroondah Highway; red and green turning arrows for cars exiting Dampier Grove and turning left into Maroondah Highway; and flashing pedestrian warning signs. There also needs to be an opportunity for cars to do a U‑turn on Maroondah Highway between New Street, Ringwood, and the Heatherdale Road and Dampier Grove intersection.

The very tragic death of Aivy Nguyen last week has left our local community in shock. I know all of our hearts go out to her family and friends. This tragic event has meant that concerns of local residents have come to the fore. They state that they have been fearful about the increased number of road accidents and near misses that they witness time and again. They also fear for the safety of pedestrians crossing both north to south and back again on the Ringwood side of the intersection. Traffic loads on Heatherdale Road since the removal of the level crossing have grown significantly. It is now a main through road, whereas previously locals avoided that intersection and used other exits onto Maroondah Highway. This means that traffic going through in multiple directions at that intersection has increased significantly.

I spent some time with Louis Datoy and other concerned local residents on Saturday discussing their concerns and witnessing the traffic flows and movements from the footpath at lunchtime, not a particularly busy time. What we witnessed was really significant. When the lights north to south turn green there can be pedestrians crossing at the same time as cars are turning into Maroondah Highway from Dampier Grove and right into Maroondah Highway from Heatherdale Road, all without any direction from arrows. There is so much interaction in that small area that it becomes quite apparent how busy and dangerous that intersection can be.

My office is close by, and I am aware of two times recently where I had to alter my route and avoid that intersection as it had been shut down because of significant accidents, with emergency vehicles present. I ask the minister to please ensure, very promptly, that the safety at this intersection is prioritised and improved significantly for my local community and for others who are passing through that intersection.