Calls for Barker St Crossing

Some of the Castlemaine residents concerned about pedestrian safety at the Barker Street-Parker Street intersection with mayor Cr Christine Henderson (second from right) on site this week. Photo: Eve Lamb

A new pedestrian crossing is planned for Castlemaine’s Barker Street after residents lobbied the council complaining that the main thoroughfare’s busy intersection with Parker Street is unsafe.
Some 180 local residents signed a petition calling for a pedestrian safety crossing, or island, to be installed at the busy intersection that is a main turnoff to
several Castlemaine attractions including the botanical gardens and Mill complex.
Now it looks as though their calls are being heard with $500,000 in Mount Alexander Shire Council’s newly proposed 2020-21 budget earmarked for a pedestrian crossing.
A number of residents this week told the Mail they are worried the Barker Street-Parker Street intersection is an accident waiting to happen with pedestrians unable to properly see approaching cars due to the lay of the land at that point.
“Definitely something needs to be done,” said one petition supporter, local resident Silvana Messing.
“Crossing here is very dangerous,” another, Julia Scoglio, said.
Another, Mary Fairburn, said she was keen to also see the speed limit reduced on this section of Barker Street.
“It should be dropped from 60km to 50km,” she said.
Mayor Cr Christine Henderson met and spoke with residents at the busy intersection earlier this week after the matter was again discussed around the council table at the council’s June meeting last week.
Cr Henderson noted that the council has recently received $1.1 million in federal economic stimulus funding for local roads and infrastructure and that $500,000 of that sum is now earmarked in the newly proposed budget for a pedestrian crossing.
“Regional Roads Victoria has already done a design for a crossing,” Cr Henderson said.
“We’ve been trying to find a grant to build a crossing for quite a few years so this is a beautiful opportunity to build a crossing that is essential before there is a horrible accident.”
The Mail now understands that while it’s expected the build will be able to happen next year it’s most likely to be positioned just a little south of the Parker Street intersection – closer to the nearby Castlemaine North Primary School.

Eve Lamb
Journalist and photographer Eve Lamb has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) degree from Deakin University and a Master of Arts (Professional Writing) from Deakin University. She has worked for many regional newspapers including the Hamilton Spectator and the Warrnambool Standard, and has also worked for metro daily, The Hobart Mercury, and The Sunday Tasmanian. Eve has also contributed to various magazines including Australian Cyclist.