Not safe to walk


CASEY residents are calling for more traffic signals and pedestrian crossings at Westfield Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, amid safety fears.
The concern involves Magid Drive, which borders part of the shopping centre and caters for a high volume of pedestrians who feel the road is unsafe to cross due to its lack of traffic signals.
Casey councillor Sam Aziz said Magid Drive, controlled by Westfield, was a major concern and would be looked into by the council.
“There are no adequate traffic management devices on the road to allow pedestrians to commute on foot,” Cr Aziz said.
“Council will initiate discussion with management of Westfield Fountain Gate to examine ways and strategies through which traffic calming measures can be introduced to the road network.”
While a crossing can be found at the Princess Highway intersection of Magid Drive, residents feel the road lacks adequate pedestrian access prior to this point. In addition to Westfield, Magid Drive is also used by pedestrians to access the surrounding reserves, including Max Pawsey Reserve and Patrick Northeast Reserve, home to several local sporting clubs.
Len O’Brien, a member of the Narre Warren Bowls Club, who often crosses Magid Drive, is legally blind and said the lack of safety measures along the road was very dangerous for pedestrians.
“For me it is a real hazard because I have trouble seeing what’s ahead of me,” he said.
“It’s a big problem and it’s not just us from the bowls club – people from all over the area cross that road. There is a heavy amount of pedestrian traffic there.”
A Westfield spokesperson said the safety of shoppers was paramount to the centre.
“A portion of Magid Drive is on land owned by Westfield and as part of our redevelopment in 2012 we installed a new pedestrian crossing, close to the underpass,” the spokesperson said.
“As always we are willing to work with the council to understand more about the concerns of residents and work co-operatively to find the best solution.”