Safe crossing ahead

Mary leads the group across the pedestrian crossing. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS 202381_07

By Mitchell Clarke

A group who campaigned to implement a pedestrian crossing on Station Street in Pakenham have come together to celebrate their achievement.

Over 50 people with disabilities from Peer Action Groups (PAGs) across Pakenham, Cranbourne and Frankston met on Thursday 12 December, to acknowledge their work and celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities and Christmas.

Community development worker Ann Hutchinson said the Pakenham PAG had been campaigning for 15 months to get the crossing installed.

“We had support from Station Street Medical Centre and Meadowvale Retirement Village and got nearly 200 signatures on our petition,” Ms Hutchinson said.

But it was the harrowing stories of near misses and close calls which really drove the campaign.

“There was a whole heap of us walking back from day service to get buses and trains home and a couple of times we had to run across the road because there was no crossing,” Lisa McLeish said.

“We had enough of it so we decided we’ll put this together and hopefully get a crossing, it took 12 months but we finally got it.

“It means that I can now cross the road without getting run over.”

The group approached councillor Michael Schilling to put the case forward to Cardinia Shire Council who were able to facilitate the project through their budget.

“We received feedback that a number of people felt quite unsafe using that road,” Cr Schilling said.

The Central Ward councillor said the crossing was of high importance, especially on a road which had “poor” sight lines and no nearby crossings.

“The outcome was driven through the Pakenham Peer Action Group and it was a really nice little victory from them,” he added.

“I’m really proud of them, they’ve done such an amazing job in getting this up and running.”

The Pakenham PAG resumes in February at the Toomah Community Centre. Anyone wishing to join the group can contact ann@valid.org.au.

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