Parents fear for children's safety

IN a bid to ensure children's safety along Riverside Drive, Kiama Downs' Jessica Arroyo has taken the fight to government and social media.

Ms Arroyo wants the speed limit to be lowered to 50km/h and changes made to the Gibraltar Avenue intersection having seen drivers regularly speeding along the road.

"I noticed that because I'm home as a mum, cars were just using this as a drag strip and this was going on all day and all night and I would just sit here and watch the cars drag race," she said.

"So I thought, why is this a 70 zone? It isn't a highway any more, it's a thoroughfare but it is suburbia, it doesn't need to be 70km/h."

Ms Arroyo, mother of two young children, said there had been an increase in the number of families in Riverside Drive, buying and renting.

"I've seen dogs get hit, I've seen cats get hit, I've seen children near miss because there's a lot more children in this area," she said.

She attributed much of the speeding to motorists trying to beat the green light at the Meehan Drive intersection and was also concerned about the number of accidents occurring from people turning right in and out of Gibraltar Avenue, which had become a popular route.

Ms Arroyo has already doorknocked Riverside Drive, saying fellow residents agreed with extra measures, whether it be a speed limit reduction, a roundabout or speed humps.

She has approached Kiama Municipal Council, Member for Kiama Gareth Ward and Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis and her Facebook group has 84 members.

The council's manager of works, Darren Brady, said the council would consider including the Meehan Drive and Oxley Avenue intersections in the coming budget.

The work would include removing the traffic lights in favour of a roundabout, provided the council could implement an alternate crossing arrangement for pedestrians.

Another roundabout would be added at the Oxley Avenue intersection as part of the plan.

"People coming from the Minnamurra Bends can be still going quite quick, but they will have to slow down to go through the roundabout at Oxley Avenue," he said.

He said treatment for Gibraltar Avenue had not been considered and it would have to be investigated, while speed limit decisions lay with Roads and Maritime Services.

To join the Facebook group, search for "A Safer Riverside Drive".

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