FOSTER will soon have a zebra crossing, in a move designed to settle confusion between drivers and pedestrians.
Last week there was consternation among some Foster residents when they woke to find stenciled ‘Give Way to Vehicles’ footpath signs around town had been removed overnight – though, in most cases, only partially. The signs had been put before the recently constructed, but unofficial, pedestrian crossings in the town. Inviting to pedestrians, particularly out-of-towners, the informal walkways have given people a subconscious ‘right of way’ if not a legal one. Similarly, drivers have been unsure of whether they were required to stop or had the right to keep moving forward.
Weather permitting, the zebra pedestrian crossing will be built by South Gippsland Shire Council workers next week, at the crossing point between Foodworks and Skye’s Café. It is part of the Foster Streetscape Project and comes as a result of consultation and agreement with the Foster Community Association, Foster Chamber of Commerce, local police and VicRoads.
The Mirror was informed the stenciled ‘Give Way to Vehicles’ messages at all crossing points were removed due to “conflicts with road safety rules”, which state that drivers turning left or right at intersections must give way to pedestrians on the road they are entering.
South Gippsland Shire Council’s Manager Infrastructure Delivery John Moylan said it was vital the community understood these changes.
“Council has been aware of the confusion the paved areas for pedestrians to cross at have created for community members and tourists,” Mr Moylan said.
“We hope that the new zebra pedestrian crossing will alleviate the confusion for all users and we can ensure the safety of pedestrians and motorists in Foster’s central business district.”