THE Roads and Maritime Services is investigating the reasons behind 24 accidents involving pedestrians in the Orange central business district in the last five years.
The RMS wants to know why there were 12 accidents involving pedestrians in Summer Street between Sale and William streets in the last five years, and another 12 accidents in Peisley Street, Lords Place and Byng Street in the same time frame.
The RMS engaged Instinct and Reason to talk to focus groups and survey attitudes of drivers and pedestrians in the central business district.
Shoppers, business people and mobility scooter users were asked to consider the positive and negative aspects of the CBD and what could be done to assist pedestrians and motorists.
Instinct and Reason representatives also observed drivers and pedestrians in Summer Street and the CBD and will present a final report later this month.
Head of Orange City Council’s access and disability committee councillor Glenn Taylor said he was disappointed the committee hadn’t been consulted.
“For the last 10 years we have been pushing through the committee for a number of changes to traffic conditions, including a crossing in Byng Street and one outside IGA, so you would think the committee where we deal with most of the complaints about this would be consulted,” he said.
However a RMS spokesperson said the study aimed to understand people’s perception of pedestrian safety issues in Orange with unbiased community insights.
“This Orange pedestrian study is an initial step in consulting with the Orange community,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier this year Orange and Cabonne road safety officer Andrea Hamilton-Vaughan rebuked Orange pedestrians in the Central Western Daily saying a “Brown’s Cows” attitude of crossing in the middle of the street or against traffic lights was putting lives in danger.
Cr Taylor said it was well documented at Orange City Council the city had been battling traffic and pedestrian issues in the CBD for years.
“I can show anyone a myriad of minutes about the frustrations we have experienced in trying to make this city a safer place for pedestrians and motorists for that matter,” he said.
He said an RMS decision to relocate to the busy central business district would contribute to the city’s traffic safety issues.
In their study the RMS noted a large number of Orange accidents involving pedestrians occurred at intersections with traffic lights.