By Derek Schlennstedt
It’s been 10 years since Karen Dettmann first began campaigning for a pedestrian crossing to be placed at York Road, Mt Evelyn between Karen Court and Hawking Road. Finally, at midday on 11 August, Karen took her first safe steps across the pedestrian crossing which she had campaigned so hard to get.
Now, having retired from the position of disability manager at the Yarra View Nursery, she said she could retire in peace knowing that employees from Yarra View, and students from Mount Evelyn Christian School (MECS) could cross the road safely.
“I’ve have been lobbying for approximately 10 years to the different politicians who were in power at the time and whoever I could talk to and it just took an awful long time,” she said,
“So now I’m just so grateful … I can rest in my retirement knowing that the people I work with and the students close by can cross the road and go to school and work safely.”
The pedestrian crossing with lights was implemented following stats that showed 25,000 vehicles using York Road daily and various close calls and accidents taking place near the location.
The Victorian Government allocated $490,000 worth of upgrades including replacing the existing flagged crossing outside Mount Evelyn Christian School with new pedestrian operated signals, and the replacement and upgrade of the bus shelter on the northern side near the nursery, as well as relocating it to ensure pedestrians crossing York Road will have more direct and safer access to bus services.
James Merlino attended the opening and thanked Karen for her strong dedication and work in campaigning for the pedestrian lights on what he called a ‘busy and dangerous’ road.
“This is a really, really busy street and it’s quite dangerous for people to cross this road, and that’s why Karen had been advocating for so long to get a pedestrian crossing here so we could get the Yarra View workers safely across the road and also students attending MECS safely onto the school grounds.”