After generating fury and concern among parents of young children, speed humps will be installed over controversial and “dangerous” giant polka dots recently painted on a Melbourne road.
The colourful spots were installed on a busy Yarraville street last month by the Maribyrnong Council in a bid to get cars to slow down – but families swiftly slammed the move, saying it encouraged children to play on the road.
“I saw kids hopping dot to dot playing games, there was a car approaching and the car had to honk for the children to move away – there was a three-year-old child among others,” Yarraville resident Anthony Gracia told the Herald Sun.
Maribyrnong local Caroline McKean told the publication the dots looked like “fun” to kids who were running into oncoming traffic.
“It’s easy to teach kids about road safety and say, ‘don’t go on the road … cross at the zebra crossings’ but polka dots on a road looks like fun,” the mother-of-two said.
“Life is hard enough as it is without the council making it harder … this was never created with thoughts of parents with young children in mind.”
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Now, just two weeks later, workers have been installing speed bumps on the busy street.
While the spots were “innovative”, Maribyrnong Mayor Michael Clarke said the council had listened to community feedback.
“This innovative trial is designed to encourage all road users – drivers, pedestrians and cyclists – to approach with additional care,” he said.
“Concerns have been raised by some community members regarding the safety – and we’ve listened.”
The council has also applied to the Department of Transport to drop the Ballarat and Canterbury streets intersection to 20km/h.
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Speaking to 7 News, Councillor Clarke said there had been “a clear reduction in speed in the district since we put the polka dots in”.
He added he was surprised at the controversy the spots had caused, but understood “there are dimensions to every initiative”.
“This is one of those examples of only after the implementation, we found there was an issue,” he said.