Third design for Liam's crossing
A pedestrian crossing will be installed in Ocean Beach Rd, south of Rawson Rd, to allow wheelchair-bound Year 11 student Liam Sainty to make his own way to school.
It is the council's third attempt to design a crossing that will allow the boy to travel independently to the Woy Woy campus of Brisbane Water Secondary College.
The council's first two designs for crossings in Rawson Rd were withdrawn after objections were received.
The new marked crossing will be at the site of an existing pedestrian refuge, and may include "carriageway narrowing" for "traffic calming" as well as new signage.
The conversion will include the extension of No Stopping zones and the relocation of a bus stop.
Gosford Council will also construct a footpath on the southern side of Rawson between Ocean Beach Rd and a pedestrian refuge near Greene St.
An existing pedestrian crossing in Ocean Beach Rd, north of the intersection, is likely to be removed.
A pedestrian survey found that 40 people used the refuge south of the intersection between 8.30am and 9.30am, while 34 people used it between 3pm and 4pm.
This compared to seven people using the existing crossing north of the intersection at the same time of morning and nine people using it between 2.30pm and 3.30pm.
A traffic survey found that 792 vehicles travelled in Ocean Beach Rd south of the intersection between 8am and 9am and 1003 between 3pm and 4pm.
Investigation for a new pedestrian crossing started after a "question without notice" by Cr Peter Freewater in March 2010.
Cr Freewater said at the time: "Liam Sainty was awarded Inspiriting Young Person on the Year in 2007.
"He is wheelchair bound but wishes to maintain his independence and safety in his travel to Brisbane Water Secondary College.
"Therefore, can I ask if the Traffic Committee would consider the provision of a suitable pedestrian crossing along Rawson Rd, Woy Woy, to assist this outstanding young man in his pursuit of higher education and a dignified level of independence?"
The provision of a pedestrian crossing in Rawson Rd was investigated and considered in June 2010 by the traffic committee, where it was recommended that a concept plan and consultation be carried out.
Affected residents were provided with a copy of the concept plan for the proposed pedestrian refuge and asked to provide comment.
Several objections were received from affected business owners and residents.
The matter was referred back to the committee in December 2010, with the concerns of adjacent residents.
The committee then recommended that a new concept plan at another location be developed and consultation be carried out.
Again, affected residents were provided with a copy of the new proposed location.
Nine objections were received from affected business owners and residents.
One of the objections received was from a resident whose son was disabled and got picked up by a special needs school bus to attend his school.
The location of the proposed refuge would not allow the bus to stop to pick the child up.
The matter was referred back to the committee in June last year, where it was recommended that Council investigate other locations for a pedestrian refuge.
Council officers were told that Liam's mother transported him to school each day.
A location for a pedestrian refuge was investigated on Rawson Rd directly west of its intersection with Moana St.
Adjacent residents and owners were provided a copy of the proposed concept plan in August and invited to provide comment.
Two objections were received from directly affected residents who attended an onsite meeting.
Following this, further investigations were undertaken to upgrade the existing pedestrian refuge on the southern side of the roundabout at Ocean Beach Rd and Rawson Rd to a marked pedestrian crossing.
This would allow Liam to travel down the footpath in Rawson Rd and cross Ocean Beach Rd at a marked pedestrian crossing and then use existing pedestrian refuges in Rawson Rd to access the school.
Relocating the pedestrian crossing to the southern side of the roundabout required the relocation of the existing bus stop and bus shelter on the eastern side of Ocean Beach Rd.
Busways advised Council it had no objection to the relocation of the bus shelter 60 metres to the south of its current location.
A No Stopping restriction would be provided on the eastern side of Ocean Beach Rd and would extend 35 metres south from the proposed marked pedestrian crossing to a 30-metre bus zone.
A No Stopping restriction would be installed on the western side of Ocean Beach Rd which would extend 20 metres south from the proposed marked pedestrian crossing.
Council also resolved that missing links in the footpath on the southern side of Rawson Rd from Ocean Beach Rd to pedestrian refuge east of Greene St be included in a future Capital Works Program.