Moonee Valley Council voted unanimously on Tuesday night to discontinue funding for two crossing supervisors in Flemington from the end of Term Two, 2019.
With only six of nine councillors present, the officer’s recommendation that crossing supervisors no longer be allocated to Cashmere St, near Mangalore St, Travancore (aka Padman Lane) and Pin Oak Crescent, near Waltham St, Flemington, was supported. A further crossing in Waverley St, Moonee Ponds, will also be defunded.
Cr Cusack moved the motion and argued: “The Travancore one is interesting because, yes, a lot of kids go through the back of the school to get into the school.”
“However, there is a pedestrian crossing there; it is a very, very narrow bit of road; there are already signs up banning cars from traveling in that area during pre-school and after school hours; and there’s also parabolic mirrors; and there’s plenty of signs there … and if you want to walk on Cashmere St, you can walk on the side where there’s no roads coming in. The other side that has Mangalore St where the Arthur Calwell Park is, kids will nick across there anyway,” he said.
“Crikey, it’s not as if you can go very fast in that neighbourhood. The last time we looked at that in fact was probably about ten years ago … and yes it was saved then, and since then Council has made changes,” he said.
“I think it makes sense. We finally have a recognised rule by which we can actually make a judgement, and secondly we have all the back-up stuff with MV2040, with consultation, better moves around schools … support for walking school buses which haven’t been in play over the years when previous decisions were made. Now we’ve moved on. It makes sense.”
Cars are permitted to travel along Padman Lane at any time of day in an easterly direction from Mt Alexander Rd to Cashmere St. Children are dropped off in this laneway outside the school hall. A teacher or parent has been stationed in the lane to assist with the flow of traffic and children’s safety when being dropped off.
On Wednesday morning, between 8:49 and 8:59am, 23 cars exited Padman Lane and approximately 30 pedestrians made use of the crossing supervisor.
Children walking along Cashmere St are blocked from the line of sight of cars by a large brick wall. A parabolic mirror is installed to help cars see children and vice versa, but learning how to use parabolic mirrors is not part of the Prep curriculum.
Crossing supervisors cost about $11,000 per year. The State Government funds supervisors if the traffic count and pedestrian numbers exceed a certain threshold.
Council will partially or fully fund supervisors that meet newly implemented Council criteria, and explore seven new sites in Ascot Vale, Keilor East, Aberfeldie and Essendon North.
Crossing supervisors at zebra crossings will not be funded by Council. The crossing at Cashmere St is deemed to be a zebra crossing as there are white lines painted on the ground.
Flemington Primary School had not been contacted by Moonee Valley Council prior to the decision being made.
This is the view a car has when exiting the laneway:
This is the view a child has from Cashmere St at the crossing:
This is what is visible in the mirrors – ie not a pedestrian, nor a car in the laneway.
The pedestrian standing at the crossing cannot be seen in the mirror.
From where a child stands, all they can see in the mirror is a van parked in Cashmere St. The laneway is not visible.