GLADESVILLE residents backed by The Weekly Times and City of Ryde Councillor Roy Maggio have been able to get the council to remove a hazardous STOP sign at the intersection of Monash and Buffalo Roads.
Clr Maggio received confirmation on Thursday the sign would be removed, two days after he raised the issue as an Urgency motion during the last council meeting.
The action responds to reports to The Weekly Times of car crashes – related to the stop sign – from local residents who said it had been “dangerously” placed by council workers on busy Monash Road to give preferential right of way to traffic from the less used, adjoining Buffalo Road.
Resident Phil Lown (pictured, right) lives alongside the intersection and told The Weekly Times that a majority of motorists driving north along Monash Road fail to stop at the stop sign.
“They are either disregarding the stop sign or they simply cannot see it as the two stop signs there are set about a metre higher than the Roads and Maritime Services and Australian standards,” Mr Lown said.
A study undertaken by this newspaper on Thursday afternoon confirmed that 51 out of one hundred peak hour cars completely ignored the stop sign, 39 slowed but did not stop and only ten fully stopped as directed.
“At night, when the stop sign is less visible, even fewer cars stop and they completely ignore the speed limit, ” one resident said
Some residents said the main danger came from the confusion of Buffalo Road motorists – turning right into Monash Road – who are cannot see the Monash Road stop sign which gives them preferential right of way.
“They naturally assume they should give way to cars on their right, approaching from a much busier road,” one resident said.
“We’ve seen many cars almost collide because no one is sure who has the right of way.”
To make a dangerous situation worse, Mr Lown said some buses are leaking oil at the intersection which causes cars who break suddenly at the intersection to skid.
“You can actually see skid marks at the intersection and trees which have lost their branches as cars and buses veer into the curb.”
It is the dangerous situation on the curbside that concerns local mum Lena Candy, pictured.
“I fear crossing this intersection with my child and we should never, ever have been put in this situation,” she said.
“What makes it worse is that residents were not even consulted when the stop sign was put in.”
Although Mr Lown described the situation as “diabolical” he stopped short of blaming the council for it.
“I’m not blaming anyone at all, but we should learn from this and get the problem fixed before there is a fatality,” he said.
Councillor Maggio agreed and welcomed the decision to remove the sign but wants further action taken after consultation with residents.
“What we need immediately are speed humps a few hundred yards from the intersection on Monash Road, which will at least slow the traffic,” he said.
“We also need to talk with those residents who tell as these streets have become a rat run for cars avoiding Victoria Road.”
Mr Lown agreed, saying “if council will not agree to the reinstatement of the old system then we need to have reduced speed limits.”
“The faster the traffic goes, the more horrendous the accidents will be, ” he said.
He would also like to see the police and bus drivers consulted alongside residents.
”We have not even touched on the property value diminution now being felt by several residents,” he said.